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Threats of the digital era: a brief analysis of the possible consequences
Material posted: Grinyaev SergeyPublication date: 26-08-2017
The text of the speech at the round table "Modern warfare and armed conflicts: the characteristics and features" in parche "Patriot" during the International exhibition and conference Army 2017.

Threats of the digital era: a brief analysis of the possible consequences

Analysis and evaluation of a number of sources of scientific and technical information and statistical data development of some countries, industries and individual companies shows that started around two decades ago, the transition from the postindustrial society to the information society is completed. This was reflected, in particular, significant changes in the economic structure, the emergence of new factors of instability, socio-political activism and new security threats.

Of course, this is largely not the future we imagined 10-15 years ago, but it is a future that already was the result of practical realization and implementation of a number of innovations in the field of information technology. Our present is our future yesterday, which has already steadily entrenched in the smartphone, as part and parcel of the social image of "modern man" and developing a brand new market of mobile content. Finally, the present is yesterday's future, when only just appeared the phenomenon of so-called "Indigo children". And today, this generation, the first generation brought up on mobile content, Youtube videos and gaming streams as a new art form, enters into adulthood, receiving the civil rights of voters.

In this context, a General evaluation of the fundamental changes is the following: without a serious and fundamental changes in the worldview and international relations in the medium term we face the risk of further accelerating the growth of social inequality, the emergence of new, previously unidentified threats to their personal and collective security, the rapid imbalance of relations in the world as a whole.

As a result, the existing system of international control, the system of checks and balances does not work and the world will be in an extremely fragile state where even the slightest conflict could provoke a major war.

Among the threats that give rise to the described changes, the following should be noted.

  1. Radically changing financial and economic order. In the new conditions of growth speeds wrapping of capital and the changes of concepts such as "gross domestic product", "productivity" fundamentally differently evaluated the results of economic development. For example, today a negative interest on deposits, and taxes are at the end of the reporting period, and in fact every transaction. Against this background, existing and used methods of statistical accounting and forecasting remain the same, which leads to a dangerous imbalance in the evaluation of the real state of Affairs in the economy. In addition, changing the very concept of "money". Today increasingly used so-called "cryptocurrency". Their fundamental difference – the lack of a single emission center. States lose the ability to issue currency and change its exchange rate depending on their own preferences. It also impacts negatively on the ability of countries to accumulate funds in the various funds, as the cost of storage media increases fairly quickly and they become a burden to the economy. The most important feature of cryptocurrencies – their network structure. This fact puts on the agenda the declining importance of concepts such as "financial center", and this is largely the loss of control by the global elite on global financial flows.
  2. There is a sharp growth of labour productivity in the new industries related to information processing, content creation and software productsthat, in General, leads to a sharp loss of significance of man as a producing unit. Today, for example, one programmer can manage complex and powerful information portal, replacing dozens of journalists and other employees. Same situation on the production – commissioning of a powerful robotic production lines, the creation of fully automatic production reduces the need of the employer for personnel, with significant savings in social security payments. According to some estimates, in the next 20 years up to 50% of occupations existing today will lose their value. All this together leads to serious problems with employment, and in addition to the problem of pension security and Medicare. The state can no longer cope with their main obligations to citizens and social instability increases.
  3. Expand the use of powerful computing machinery and systems mathematical modelling, which dramatically accelerates the processes in a number of research areas. Thus, in particular, major changes of materials and new production technologies. There was a possibility of synthesis of substances with new, unique properties, and creation on their basis of unique products. Completion of the industrial implementation of 3D printing technology radically changes the situation in a number of industries: there is a possibility of creating unique devices (for example, aircraft and rocket engines), which were not possible without this technology. It may fundamentally affect, in particular, on the market of arms and proliferation of weapons (especially small arms). Today there is no need for transboundary shipment of finished weapons – all that is needed, you can print on the spot, simply download the desired file for a 3D printer.
  4. Changing the availability of space. Development of branches of material science, microelectronics etc. allows us to create boosters of extremely small size, suitable for launch into orbit compact satellites of low mass and the achievements in microelectronics allow to obtain high performance per unit mass, inferred in near-earth space. Yes, these missiles are closed geostationary orbital positions and manned the ships, but to provide communication and relay, electronic intelligence, to solve some other problems, microsatellites under force. However, they do not need complex and expensive complexes of preparation and removal, which significantly reduces the threshold of entering the number of players in the space race.
  5. Advances in 3Dprinting radically changes the possibilities of medicine. Already tested the seal with the own stem cells of virtually all organs and tissues of a person without their eventual rejection.
  6. The transition in the production of microelectronic components 5-7 nm technology entails a rapid leap in the development of computer technology, and along with it – and all the associated industries, both military and civil purposes. Moreover, the current spikes are actually opens up new possibilities for the integration and creation of supercomputer technologies.
  7. A microelectronics achievements are complemented by achievements in algorithmische and creating complex software systemsprimarily in the field of artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality. A breakthrough in the field of deep machine learning opens up new possibilities in the search for new dosage forms, and creating unique systems of analysis and decision-making.
  8. The completion of the decoding of the human genome has opened the possibility of genetic medicine, which not only gives you the option of eliminating congenital genetic defects, but also allows you to enter a new phase – the creation of "the absolute man" – eugenics. This is one of the extremely dangerous and disturbing trends of human development. Because genetic therapy is quite expensive, it is the domain of the wealthy. There are fears that the global elite usurps the right of use of genetic modification technologies in their own interests, creating a new race "rulers" that will consolidate social inequality at the genetic level.
  9. Content development, improvement of technologies of virtual and augmented reality creates the conditions for further atomization of society – all the more time a person will not hold in the real and virtual world. This new conditions for the transformation of the political system. Today, elections in the United States and in France have shown that the main contribution to the victory of certain candidates made virtual social community. Often the candidates themselves were creatures of social networking. It is already clear that just as in the twentieth century, at the peak of the heyday of industrial society was born "green Party" based on motivation which was supposed to not class inequality, and the struggle for sustainable peace, it is expected that in the current environment, the trend will be similar and will be a mechanism of political struggle, adequate to the changes taking place.
  10. Fundamentally changing the landscape of security threats to the individual and the state. The expanding penetration of information systems in the public and military management of the weapons control system puts the highest priority threats to information security and information protection. We should also talk about "information" or "cyberterrorism," when even one person able to commit the wrongful act affecting entire States and even groups of States (the epidemic of computer viruses this summer for proof).
  11. Almost completely lost the concept of "privacy" and "private life". The widespread development of video surveillance systems, personal information systems of the analysis of "big data", etc. make a person actually "transparent" to anyone who has access to his personal information.
  12. Today actually left simple mobile phones. They were replaced by smartphones. And these smartphones, in fact, became the electronic avatars of their owners: they are always with them, indicating the current location of the owners; they collect information about visited sites, contacts, places in which is their master, they have information about payments and more. Access to most of this information has a mobile operator. Today, these companies become TNCs new information age.
  13. Particular importance attaches to the possibility of manipulation of information. Today, a situation where traditional media are losing its importance, moreover, they become mechanisms of replication of false information and facts, that actually negates their role and importance in the new world, and requires fundamental changes not only the technology news, technology authentication and identification of the sources of these news.
  14. The development of the technologies of working with large volumes of information and the rapid growth of computational power allows to create algorithms to assess the situation, working in real time. This has already led to the development of "Analytics 3.0" that is due to the creation of fundamentally new approaches to information analysis. Today, in particular, transactions in the stock exchanges occur in a split second and the computer has time to perform large amounts of information on previous transactions, and determine a rational trading strategy. In many cases, for the time until the user switches between adjacent pages of any site, the system manages to perform its preference and generate the next page, which he still goes in the form in which he wished to see her.
  15. The development of artificial intelligence, the transfer of management tasks, armament systems and military equipment, to form a layer of fundamentally different tasks – legal and moral-ethical justification of the use of weapons against a person in conditions when the decision on the application adopts the machine.

The above features of the current stage of development of the modern society are only the most significant. The total number of changes is much larger and their impact on modern life more deeply.

The analysis shows that Russia today is in a "border state": a number of factors in the new era is already having an effect on her condition and further development, but the basic infrastructure, and, most importantly, understanding of their role and place in the new world, still remain in industrial and post-industrial phase. It is fraught with the perception gap and highly undesirable consequences for the country in the medium term.

Sergei Grinyaev

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