Don't rush to become Smart Nation

I agree with Professor Ang Peng Hwa that we should not let smart technology dumb us down (Smart nation, unwise citizens; Sept 22).

In layman's terms, I find that a technology-driven economy would favour a small group of successful individuals by amplifying their talents and luck in creating smart software at the expense of the rest.

Cashless transactions via electronic platforms should, by law, never cost one cent more than cash payments because the value of the dollars transferred via machines still remains the same.

If you look carefully at smart technology, you will find that users are coerced to do free work for mundane services to contribute profits to operators.

What lies behind smart technology are higher prices and job losses.

When advanced countries are proceeding cautiously towards becoming smart cities, why do we need to hurry?

I am not against moving towards becoming a Smart Nation, but we should be realistic in proceeding and should not ignore or disadvantage the non-tech-savvy community.

A Smart Nation move, if implemented rashly, will be completely incongruous to the quintessential objective of meaningful life, where human-touch elements are crucial to our multiracial and multicultural community.

I would prefer to live in a gracious city that cherishes warm human interactions with cost-effective, user-friendly technology.

Paul Chan Poh Hoi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 09, 2018, with the headline 'Don't rush to become Smart Nation'. Print Edition | Subscribe