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Young people have more faith in algorithms than politicians, study finds

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  • More than 2 million young people participated in the Davos Lab Dialogues to share their views on what will become the next normal for society, government and business
  • Overall, they hold more faith in governance by robots than humans and view corruption, climate change and stale political leadership as the most urgent risks
  • They call for a global wealth tax to protect social safety nets and ambitious plans to digitally connect the world by 2025
  • 40 policy recommendations were created to help policy-makers integrate the voices of young people and shape a more equal future

A recent survey conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) revealed that young people have more faith in government ran by robots than politicians.

The Davos Lab Survey showed that young people believe that the fractures in the society are manifestations of an underlying political problem. Concerns about corruption and stale political leadership have become urgent priorities for young people if they are to keep faith in the political system.

The survey found that young people would be more likely to trust a system run by artificial intelligence than humans. To fix the problem, they are calling for greater investment in programs that help young progressive voices join government and become influential policy-makers.
 
Other highlights of the survey
 
Young people want to see a halt on all new coal, oil and gas exploration and development to limit global warming to the 1.5°C limit set out in the Paris Agreement. They call on financial institutions to avoid bankrolling or underwriting companies that seek to start new fossil-fuel exploration and development, and on firms to actively replace corporate board directors who are unwilling to wind down fossil fuels or transition to green energy sources.
 
They are extremely worried about their financial future. They want to see a global wealth tax on assets worth more than $50 million to safeguard social safety nets and avoid austerity measures that disproportionately burden youth and the working poor. Almost half of the young people surveyed said they feel inadequately skilled and close to a quarter said they would risk falling into debt if faced with an unexpected medical expense.
 
Young people champion an open internet but are concerned about misuse. Half of the world’s population still lacks access to the web and many contend with internet blackouts. A $2 trillion digital access plan is recommended to close the gap, especially in a socially distancing world that increasingly relies on virtual interactions.
 
The Davos Lab Survey shows that physical safety ranks as the greatest safety concern among young people, a potential function of the increased use of surveillance technology and militarized policing against activists and people of color.
 
At least 344 dialogues were held in 146 cities and on approximately 19,000 responses to the Davos Lab Survey conducted in 187 countries.
 

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