In the age of digital transformation, the dynamics between the digital economy and citizens have undergone a profound evolution. The advent of technology has redefined the way individuals interact, work, and live, giving rise to a new paradigm in which citizens are not just passive participants but active stakeholders in shaping the digital economy. This article delves into the intricate relationship between the digital economy and citizens, highlighting how their interaction influences the quality of life, human intervention, and the emergence of the new economy.
Digital Economy and Quality of Life:
The digital economy has ushered in a multitude of conveniences and efficiencies that impact citizens’ quality of life. From e-commerce platforms that simplify shopping experiences to online banking that enhances financial accessibility, citizens are reaping the benefits of streamlined processes and instant access to services. The digital economy’s role in enhancing convenience, connectivity, and access to information directly contributes to an improved quality of life.
Empowering Human Intervention:
Contrary to concerns about automation replacing human roles, the digital economy has amplified the significance of human intervention. As technology handles routine tasks, citizens can focus on value-driven activities that require critical thinking, creativity, and emotional intelligence. Citizens are not just passive consumers; they actively engage in problem-solving, decision-making, and innovating within the digital ecosystem.
Citizens as Co-Creators:
The digital economy has transformed citizens from mere recipients of services to active co-creators of value. Crowdsourcing, collaborative platforms, and user-generated content have empowered citizens to participate in product development, content creation, and problem-solving. This co-creation dynamic strengthens the bond between businesses and citizens, fostering a sense of ownership and collaboration.
Influence on the New Economy:
The relationship between the digital economy and citizens is foundational to the emergence of the new economy. This economy transcends traditional sectors, fueled by technological innovation and digitally-enabled business models. Citizens’ participation as content creators, freelancers, and online entrepreneurs contributes to the diversity and dynamism of the new economy, challenging traditional notions of work and employment.
Challenges and Considerations:
While the connection between the digital economy and citizens is promising, challenges arise concerning digital literacy, data privacy, and inclusivity. Ensuring that all citizens have equal access to digital resources and possess the necessary skills is crucial for preventing a digital divide and fostering an inclusive digital society.
Balancing Human-Centricity and Technology:
As citizens become more integrated into the digital economy, maintaining a human-centric approach remains pivotal. While technology enhances convenience and efficiency, preserving human touch, empathy, and ethical considerations ensures that citizens continue to experience a holistic and fulfilling interaction with the digital realm.
Already today there is a forecast that by 2060 there will be 10 billion people on Earth, of which 75% will be urban residents. That is, a man of the future will live in an overpopulated world, where existing global problems such as a bad ecology may be only worsened. It is clear that such complexities may be solved with the help of cities of a new type, fully automated and autonomous.
In Europe, the smart house system exists already now, it represents various home devices connected to a single controller and having the ability to perform a number of tasks without human intervention. However, although it is still quite primitive and has a rather high price, the situation is developing so quickly that for 10-15 years, the opportunity to give a voice command to your own apartment about warming up the kettle will not surprise anyone.
It all boils down to the introduction of special technologies, the integration of which allows optimizing the work of all services and equipment in the house. All systems are connected through protocols such as Z-Wave and Wi-Fi. Protocols are used to remotely manage parts of a house. For this purpose, small radio frequency modules are built into consumer electronics and various devices, thanks to which control is carried out. There is also a Profibus protocol, which is used to automate processes without human intervention. It can be configured in such a way that the heating, for example, will be switched on at certain times of the day or the sensors will provide the desired temperature in the apartment.
Thus, in 2060, humanity will be lazier because the apartment will turn on / off the light itself, order food from the supermarket, prepare food, and wash the dishes. Of course, a smart city will need a smart population. Indeed, in order to intelligently use all advanced systems, smart city residents will need a certain level of computer literacy and intelligence. A comfortable living environment can be formed only if there is a benevolent, peace-loving, and healthy atmosphere in the city.
Will the person be happier from this? The answer to this question depends on how people learn to manage their free time. Someone, perhaps, will use free time for learning and self-realization, but someone may use it for destroying their own personality in bars and behind computer games.
The digital economy is a term that has actively broken into everyday life. Intelligent technologies for solving everyday problems are the basis of the digital economy. The digital economy is a virtual environment that complements our reality. Digital money, digital solutions for homes, cars, and entire cities! Some futurists believe that in the future people will often surround digital 3D technologies. Every person will have his own electronic assistant in the form of a 3D hologram instead of the current mobile phone. He will remember information, search the network for necessary data, remind us about important events, serve as a navigator and videophone. Holograms will surround the person everywhere, instead of the current boards and monitors, people will see 3D advertising.
Surely, the format of the smart city does not mean that cities, whose history is estimated for centuries, will “grow wiser” overnight. To equip modern systems with areas designed long before they appeared, task is not easy and long enough. It is much easier and faster to create “clever” areas from scratch in their territory. In this way, the city authorities of Vienna also decided to create an ideal smart city on the north-eastern outskirts of the Austrian capital. The project is called “Aspern. City by the Lake” and is one of the largest in Europe. The new district, located around the man-made lake Aspern, is designed to accommodate 20 thousand people. The construction of Aspern was carried out, as they say, from scratch, to create a truly green city, which can only be completely abstracted from the cities built before. Vienna set ambitious goals for itself with “Smart City Strategy”. This affects all aspects of life, in housing, and not only new buildings, as in Aspern. As part of this project, it is necessary to show how the quality of life can be significantly increased through heating and energy supply to residential areas, as well as through sustainable mobility and the development of renewable energy.
In the future overpopulation will force humanity to explore new territories, humankind will be forced to develop new, now unsuitable for life territory. Since the deserts currently occupy about 11% of the land surface, in 2009 a consortium of 12 international companies developed the Desertec project to transform the largest desert. The essence of the project is the construction of a network of solar thermal and wind power stations on the territory of the Sahara. In addition to the energy goal, the authors of the concept set themselves the task of creating millions of jobs, improving the quality of life in Africa, and reducing the flow of refugees to Europe. It is planned that future cities in the desert will go into the depths of 200-300 meters, and in them from 500 million to a billion people will live, each will be provided with work, housing, and food. The project will last 40 years, during which Europe will spend 400 billion euros.
However, new technologies have always created both opportunities and threats. We see now how in China a social rating of each person is created, that is, in fact, thanks to the total surveillance technologies. This is not just a credit rating for everyone, but also a sort of loyalty rating for the existing system of power. Of course, with this approach, there are practically no possibilities for private life. Therefore, if we are talking about the rights and security of citizens, then any technological breakthroughs will require the development of new insurance and balance systems. The question is how many citizens and how much the state is willing to agree on the boundaries of technology intervention in private life.
Recently, the largest companies IBM, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and several others created a consortium, in which the main subject of discussion is the ethical side and safety of technologies that are being introduced, namely artificial intelligence. Whilst, standards for the ethics and safety of artificial intelligence, require the creation of a culture of cooperation, trust, and respect among scientists and engineers.