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2023 | OriginalPaper | Buchkapitel

12. Humanity Is Facing Its Sustainability: Will Technological Progress Make the Future Unsustainable?

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Abstract

This chapter delves into the profound impact of digitalisation and technology on sustainability, offering a balanced analysis of its advantages and challenges. We explore how emerging technological trends, including advances in artificial intelligence and novel computing systems, can contribute to sustainable development while addressing the increased energy demands and resource usage inherent to these technologies. An urgent concern highlighted is the rapid accumulation of e-waste, a by-product of technological obsolescence, and the innovative approaches to transforming this waste into value by extracting valuable minerals. We also explore the Thales Alenia Space’s ASCEND project, an ambitious endeavour aiming to position data centres in space to capitalise on reduced temperatures, mitigating the environmental footprint of energy consumption. However, despite potential benefits, we underscore various hurdles, such as extensive infrastructural requirements and the implications of space radiation. Crucially, we advocate for fair ecological transitions that account for the socio-economic realities of developing nations and urge the need for sound policy-making and regulation to drive equitable digitisation. Finally, the chapter identifies the significant environmental toll exerted by the extraction of minerals, the increasing energy consumption of ICT, and the need for strategies to minimise these impacts while maximising the potential of digitalisation for sustainability. Ultimately, we argue that the intersection of digitalisation and sustainability warrants a comprehensive, integrated approach, fostering a more sustainable and equitable future.

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Metadaten
Titel
Humanity Is Facing Its Sustainability: Will Technological Progress Make the Future Unsustainable?
verfasst von
Javier Arribas Cámara
Copyright-Jahr
2023
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-40139-8_12