The
Future
of
Human
itarian
Aid
#HuCo2019
Vienna
29/03/2019
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Tech For Good – Or Not?

Keynote speakerDarelle Van Greunen,  Moderator: Andreas Papp
Panel members: Bernhard Kowatsch, Richard TigheDarelle Van GreunenStefan Voigt

Blockchain is helping to efficiently manage cash transfers and to supply basic items to refugee populations in cooperation with local supermarkets, thereby cutting out costly financial intermediaries, reducing mistakes and most of all, reaching people much faster.

Earth observation data from satellites and drones, data mining and artificial intelligence are able to help predict locations of trapped persons after an earthquake. Augmented reality apps train emergency squads in better response or provide people caught in a natural disaster with the best exit routes. Drones can deliver medicine and provide local telecommunications, where infrastructure has disappeared.

There seems no end to the positive transformation and great advancements made possible through new technologies when it comes to natural disasters, conflict and epidemics.

Kranzberg´s first law of technology says “Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.” Taking all this into consideration one has to ask: What is the power and where are the pitfalls of next generation technologies? Who is responsible for making sure that emerging technologies are for the good? How does one ensure that future technology does not endanger human life but takes into account dignity, rights, and the humanity of the communities we seek to serve?