A few developing countries overperform on frontier technologies, but most lag behind – UN Report

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) published its annual Technology and Innovation Report 2021 which explores the prospect of frontier technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and gene-editing, in adversely impacting existing and new inequalities. The report underpins how technological progress is essential for sustainable development but can also accentuate inequalities or create new ones. The report found that a few developing countries are demonstrating robust capabilities to use, adopt, and adapt frontier technologies than their per capita GDPs would suggest. Yet, these countries are still lagging behind, according to the ‘country readiness index’ that assesses the progress of 158 countries in using frontier technologies, considering their national capacities related to physical investment, human capital, and technological effort. The top three overperformers in the readiness index are India and then the Philippines followed by Ukraine.