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Tech outfits only interested in serving the rich elite

by on16 October 2017

Nobel Prize winner claims there is no global vision

Tech companies are competing to serve the wealthy with no global vision, according to the winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.

Muhammad Yunus, who pioneered the concepts of microcredit and microfinance has just dashed out a book, A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions.

He claimed that big innovations instead: "Designed and dedicated mostly for commercial successes... while trillions of dollars are invested in developing robotics and artificial intelligence for military and commercial purposes, there is little interest in applying technology to overcome the massive human problems of the world."

A genius in the tech industry: "Can dedicate his work to creating a medical breakthrough that will save thousands of lives -  or he can develop an app that will let people amuse themselves."

He said that the exception was the low-cost Endless computer, which runs Linux and has 50,000 Wikipedia articles pre-installed to enable offline research - plus over 100 applications,  "for a price of just $79".

One part of Endless's business is operated like a conventional, profit seeking company, while the other part is a social business that provides underserved populations with educational, health, and creative services they were once denied.

Endless is already being shipped around the globe by four of the five largest computer manufacturers. It has become the leading PC platform in Indonesia and much of Southeast Asia.

“It has also been selected as the standard operating system for the Brazilian Ministry of Education, and in coming months it will be adopted as the primary platform by a number of other Latin American countries."

Last modified on 16 October 2017
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