Asunción López-Varela Azcárate
Since the second half of the 20th century, the generation of wealth does not depend only on assets, raw materials and machinery, but on the ability to create and use information to innovate and generate knowledge and technologies of socioeconomic utility. Science, and in particular technology, has become the largest impact factor in measuring productive economic development. It is true that without scientific discoveries and their technical applications it would not possible to maintain the current life standards. However, it is also evident that this accelerated growth has increased uncertainty in the world, as well as created conditions that threaten biological ecosystems, with pollution on the rise, glaciers melting with effects on sea-levels, climate change bringing undesired effects all over the world, species becoming extinct, and a long etcetera. Reflection on the importance of rapid technological change is more necessary than ever. Well-known publications by Israeli writer Yuval Noah Harari have emphasized that some of our current dreams could become our worst nightmares; like the awaited 5G network, with artificial tissues, organs and bodies becoming design products, or the forthcoming unprecedented impact of AI on the labour market. Indeed, some scientists suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic that is causing havoc all over the world comes as a result of our unbalanced ecosystems.