Tech issues thrust front and centre of G20 Summit in Osaka
The G20 Summit kicks off today in Osaka and — with the much publicised US government attack on China’s trade policies, threats of new tariffs and measures already taken against Huawei — technology interests have already been thrust squarely front and centre.
AI, big data, IoT and robotics have quickly risen in the public and political consciousness over the past couple of years and there’s already been much talk from attendees about cooperation, conflict, regulation and policy-making. Innovation is one of the top themes for this G20 meeting.
However, looking at all the other G20 2019 themes it now seems hard to view any of them without a technology perspective in mind. Global economy, trade and investment, environment and energy, health and others, all have many future outcomes that are heavily dependent on technology.
For example, the global economy is clearly going to be affected by a deterioration in US-China trade; the global roll-out of 5G is going to be affected by the US position on Huawei. And disconnecting the AI R&D of China and the US risks isolating new technology that could help save energy, the environment, human lives and even more.
Like it or not, — and in a statement that would have sounded preposterous just a short time ago — the futures of AI and the human race are now intrinsically linked. Although, with so many divergent ideas, imperatives and interests, the best that we can hope for from the G20 Summit is progress on the US-China tech trade standoff. Which is, perhaps, looking unlikely.