16th Sadli Lecture: Indonesia Faces Challenges in Age of Algorithms

Digital transformation is one of the most crucial events that change human life. Installation of robots worldwide has doubled and investments in artificial intelligence (AI) have increased almost six-fold. Although the transformation improves productivity and trade to an unprecedented degree, it also raises inequality between people and nations, which, ironically, should have been reduced by development.

This was the gist of the lecture delivered by Dr Lili Yan Ing, ERIA’s lead advisor on Southeast Asia and one of the discussants in the 16th Sadli Lecture in Economic Policy organised by the Institute for Social and Economic Research, Faculty of Economics and Business of the Universitas Indonesia (LPEM FEB UI) and the ANU Indonesia Project. The lecture series is convened annually in honour of the late Professor Mohammad Sadli, one of Indonesia’s most influential economists of his generation.

According to Dr Lili, the key challenges in digital transformation and digital trade include privacy concerns, cyber security reliance, unfair competition, and the digital divide. As Indonesia holds the Group of Twenty (G20) presidency, Dr Lili also expressed her views on how G20 can ensure digital transformation as a development that benefits all. G20 should improve the quality of key digital enablers for the adoption of technology, she added. Whilst not all technology can be appropriately adopted by developing countries, she said that G20 should be able to promote efforts to better prepare them. Finally, she suggested that the forum should try to improve the quality of privacy and antitrust laws as well as their implementation worldwide.

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