Say, even if governments in the developing world are ready to finance these digital ventures at the expense of social sector spending, money is only part of the game.

Bringing and blending the engineering mind to design, maintain and expand the splendid cloud infrastructure, is no less than a Herculean task.

Acquiring global leadership in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and semiconductors requires an enormous and continued supply of financial and human capital. Setting up one unit of a modern semiconductor requires an enormous and continued supply of financial and human capital.

Setting up one unit of a modern semiconductor facility costs over $15 billion dollars. Hence, it is utterly difficult for a state running its social welfare system to divert and funnel its resources to pursue such big schemes.

With the changing dynamics of the code world : THAT being the case, the coming decades will determine world politics as forces of nationalism and globalism come to confluence for substantial sway over both the digital and physical space.

The interaction between the goals and powers of tech firms and that of state governments would ultimately open new vistas of competition in the digital world. Under this competition, the predominance of a specific look of any big tech corporation will have far-reaching consequences for global politics.

Unfettered by the physical space and subsequently dominating the digital space, Google, Facebook and Apple have assumed an international outlook in their valuable engineering innovations.

The idea behind this approach is the same : go internationally, respect states' rules and regulations, and play passionately.

Then there are tech firms that align themselves explicitly with government institutions to serve national goals.

Technology companies in many countries, under public-private partnership laws, have secured massive revenues by providing concerned governments with the facilities of an AI, cybersecurity, cloud computing and complex integrated circuit chip development.

In China, for example, the state's 5G networking and semiconductor and development policies are being implemented with the help of Huawei and SMIC. Also, China's leading search engine - Baidu - and voice recognition tech firm - iFlyTek- have become part of the government's AI team.

During the Covid pandemic, all these Chinese companies have helped the government with telemedicine, video conferencing, locking down the metropolis through digital surveillance, managing transportation, issuing health digital passports, and exporting medical instruments to the developing world to enhance China's leadership portrait.

Meanwhile, this emerging revolution of technology enterprises has given rise to another class that, owing to their unique and ambitious idea of achieving a utopian digital culture, is on its way to accord the digital world an altogether different look.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, and Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta Platforms, are the most notable figures with their impeccable ambition of pioneering avant-garde transportation systems.

By coupling computers with the human brain and transforming human beings into duo-planetary species by overtaking Mars, they are striding in the scientific world by dominating low orbit space.

Say, then, in the case of Pakistan, with a population of more than 220 million people, steering digital transformation to a logical transparency is the need of the hour.

The intelligibility and transparency that technology brings with it may give rise to knee-jerk resistance from the stakeholders benefiting from the outdated manual system in every sector.

But despite such roadblocks, the journey to a digital developing World cannot be overturned. The time ahead is digital. And for an economy to thrive, it will require one to shift gears toward constructing an enabling environment where digital ventures can burgeon well above expectations.

The World Students Society thanks author Ejaz Amed Chaudhry.


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