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The world is being battered by technological disruption, as innovations such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotics, the "internet of things," blockchain, 3-D printing and virtual reality change how societies and economies work. Individually, each of these technologies has the potential to transform established products, services and associated support networks. Major economic transformations typically produce far-reaching change. The social and political impact of the digital revolution could be even more dramatic.Success requires public discourse, digital enlightenment and emancipation and broader awareness of technology's risks. To achieve this democratic digital future, the world needs to change how it thinks about technology.For example, at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, we are engineering socially responsible communication networks and urban governance systems, while the FuturICT initiative, an international network of researchers, is applying a multidisciplinary approach to technology development.Building that future demands a new digital zeitgeist, whereby social, cultural, environmental and ethical values become part of the design process.
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