Securing Society 5.0

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Securing Society 5.0

Overcoming the hidden threats in society’s greatest evolutionary leap

As we move into the third decade of the 21st century, humanity faces challenges of previously unimagined scale and complexity. The world grows smaller every day; all problems are to some extent shared global problems. We have been dramatically reminded of this fact by the recent Covid-19 pandemic, which left no nation untouched by a health crisis or a resultant economic crisis, or both.

The accelerated digital transformation of commerce and industry we have seen post-Covid epitomises an old but growing belief: technology will save us. However, technology is no panacea. Though humankind’s latest technological revolution has been breathtaking in its pace and impact, it has not been matched by concomitant progress in society, ethics and neurobiology.

Humankind’s survival and future success do not rely on technology alone, but on its conscious, balanced, and secure incorporation into social, industrial and economic systems.

A term first coined in the Japanese government’s Fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan, “Society 5.0” envisages an amalgamation of cyber and physical spheres to deliver exponential synergy in society’s operations. It is a bold vision that promises greater prosperity for all through the liberation of cyber-physical intelligence. However, the vision often overlooks risk.

“Securing Society 5.0” addresses the largely unexamined threats of cyber-physical ubiquity. It begins with an exploration of the context and history of Society 5.0, including its anthropological roots and the multi-systems challenges that have called this vision into being. The book then examines the defining characteristics and assumptions of Society 5.0, as well as the major technologies that will influence its success. Part Four investigates the shifts we can expect to see in the nature of society itself as the boundaries between cyber and physical become increasingly blurred, before Part Five considers the hidden threats of a cyber-physical world, and what can be done to ameliorate them. The book concludes with an affirmation of the need for systemic evolution, as envisaged in Society 5.0, with directions for its safe delivery.

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