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Human Development &
Capability Association

Multi-Disciplinary and People-Centred

Announcing the theme of the 2025 Human Development Report: Harnessing digital transformation to advance human development

New York, 4 June 2024

Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and their impact on human development will be the theme of the next Human Development Report, the United Nations Development Programme has announced.

Researchers at the Human Development Report Office have begun to explore how digitalization and AI are reshaping key areas of human development, including health, education, social norms, relationships, employment, and agency.

“We’re looking at how living in an increasingly digitalized world affects not only the way societies operate, but also the way we function as human beings,” said Pedro Conceição, Director of the UNDP Human Development Report Office.

Using a life stage approach, the research aims to illuminate the impacts of digitalization on various age groups, from brain development in infancy and early childhood, to shifts in work and social interactions during adulthood, and the ways in which ageing populations around the world are shaping and being shaped by digital technology.

The report - expected to be released in 2025 - will also bring a human rights lens to the tensions between expanded freedom of expression and the heightened risk of disinformation.

“Digitalization can enhance inclusiveness and transparency, but it can also disrupt political processes,” said Pedro Conceição. “AI can empower workers, but also replace them. Navigating this new context while harnessing its potential is the challenge of the Anthropocene, and we look forward to sharing what we learn.”

The 2025 Human Development Report will be part of a trilogy that explores the new uncertainty complex comprised of intensifying polarization, a destabilized planet, and widespread digitalization.

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