The toilet was a more important invention than Facebook, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said on Monday, but said advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) are a "real concern".
At the World Government Summit in Dubai, Stiglitz was asked during an on-stage session whether past inventions like the toilet were more important than recent inventions in digital technology, sometimes known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
"Toilets and electricity were much more important than Facebook … those innovations really did change our standards of living, increasing health. Having a better advertising engine is important for advertising, but doesn't fundamentally change a deep way our standard of living," Stiglitz said.
Facebook was not specifically mentioned in the question to Stiglitz.