Politicians love to talk up technological advances. Those of a certain age will recall Harold Wilson famously talking about the “white heat” of the technological revolution demanding economic and social changes “which permeate our whole system of society”. It all sounds very familiar even today.
Until recently, governments wanted to be in the vanguard of that revolution. There was a feeling of optimism around digital transformation, as if we were on the cusp of technological utopia. But, since the heady early days of the internet, there are emerging signs of a growing malaise developing around technology, a formless unease that people can’t quite put their fingers on.