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Industry 4.0 | Online Training Course

3 years ago

Industry 4.0 | Online Training Course


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]<li><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>As the world’s largest democracy and the country with one of the highest number of scientists and engineers, India is a key political, social and economic player that will shape the course of the Fourth Industrial Revolution</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>As it prepares to embark on a massive digital transformation, India’s ability to fully capitalize on the emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be one of the leading drivers of global prosperity and peace in coming decades. To ensure India’s success in this capacity, the creation of a Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in India dedicated to the Fourth Industrial Revolution was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23 January 2018 at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.</p><br /><br /> </div><p>The Fourth Industrial Revolution represents a fundamental change in the way we live, work and relate to one another. It is a new chapter in human development, enabled by extraordinary technology advances commensurate with those of the first, second and third industrial revolutions. These advances are merging the physical, digital and biological worlds in ways that create both huge promise and potential peril. The speed, breadth and depth of this revolution is forcing us to rethink how countries develop, how organisations create value and even what it means to be human. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about more than just technology-driven change; it is an opportunity to help everyone, including leaders, policy-makers and people from all income groups and nations, to harness converging technologies in order to create an inclusive, human-centred future. The real opportunity is to look beyond technology, and find ways to give the greatest number of people the ability to positively impact their families, organisations and communities.</p></li><br /><br /> <p>Are the technologies that surround us tools that we can identify, grasp and consciously use to improve our lives? Or are they more than that: powerful objects and enablers that influence our perception of the world, change our behaviour and affect what it means to be human?</p><br /><br /> <p>Technologies are emerging and affecting our lives in ways that indicate we are at the beginning of a <a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Fourth-Industrial-Revolution-Klaus-Schwab-ebook/dp/B01AIT6SZ8″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-mce-href=”http://www.amazon.com/Fourth-Industrial-Revolution-Klaus-Schwab-ebook/dp/B01AIT6SZ8″>Fourth Industrial Revolution</a>, a new era that builds and extends the impact of digitization in new and unanticipated ways. It is therefore worthwhile taking some time to consider exactly what kind of shifts we are experiencing and how we might, collectively and individually, ensure that it creates benefits for the many, rather than the few.</p><br /><br /> <p><b>When were the other industrial revolutions?</b></p><br /><br /> <p>The First Industrial Revolution is widely taken to be the shift from our reliance on animals, human effort and biomass as primary sources of energy to the use of fossil fuels and the mechanical power this enabled. The Second Industrial Revolution occurred between the end of the 19th century and the first two decades of the 20th century, and brought major breakthroughs in the form of electricity distribution, both wireless and wired communication, the synthesis of ammonia and new forms of power generation. The Third Industrial Revolution began in the 1950s with the development of digital systems, communication and rapid advances in computing power, which have enabled new ways of generating, processing and sharing information.</p><br /><br /> <picture></picture><p>The Fourth Industrial Revolution can be described as the advent of “cyber-physical systems” involving entirely new capabilities for people and machines. While these capabilities are reliant on the technologies and infrastructure of the Third Industrial Revolution, the Fourth Industrial Revolution represents entirely new ways in which technology becomes embedded within societies and even our human bodies. Examples include genome editing, new forms of machine intelligence, breakthrough materials and approaches to governance that rely on cryptographic methods such as the blockchain.</p><br /><br /> <p>As the novelist William Gibson famously said: “The future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed.” Indeed, in many parts of the world aspects of the Second and Third Industrial Revolutions have yet to be experienced, complicated by the fact that new technologies are in some cases able to “leapfrog” older ones. As the <a href=”http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=44452&Cr=sanitation&Cr1=#.VpzAAfkrLIX” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-mce-href=”http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=44452&Cr=sanitation&Cr1=#.VpzAAfkrLIX”>United Nations pointed out in 2013</a>, more people in the world have access to a mobile phone than basic sanitation. In the same way, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is beginning to emerge at the same time that the third, digital revolution is spreading and maturing across countries and organizations.</p><br /><br /> <p>The complexity of these technologies and their emergent nature makes many aspects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution feel unfamiliar and, to many, threatening. We should therefore remember that all industrial revolutions are ultimately driven by the individual and collective choices of people. And it is not just the choices of the researchers, inventors and designers developing the underlying technologies that matter, but even more importantly those of investors, consumers, regulators and citizens who adopt and employ these technologies in daily life.</p><br /><br /> <p>The Fourth Industrial Revolution may look and feel like an exogenous force with the power of a tsunami, but in reality, it is a reflection of our desires and choices. At the heart of discussions around emerging technologies there is a critical and central question: what do we want these technologies to deliver for us?</p><br /><br /> <p><b>What is the potential impact?</b></p><br /><br /> <p>Every period of upheaval has winners and losers. And the technologies and systems involved in this latest revolution mean that individuals and groups could win – or lose – a lot. As Schwab says: “There has never been a time of greater promise, or one of greater potential peril.”</p><br /><br /> <p>While the fact that we are still at the beginning of this revolution means that it is impossible to know the precise impact on different groups, there are three big areas of concern: inequality, security and identity.</p><br /><br /> <p><b>1. </b><b>Inequality</b></p><br /><br /> <p>The richest 1% of the population now owns half of all household wealth, according to <a href=”https://publications.credit-suisse.com/tasks/render/file/?fileID=F2425415-DCA7-80B8-EAD989AF9341D47E” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-mce-href=”https://publications.credit-suisse.com/tasks/render/file/?fileID=F2425415-DCA7-80B8-EAD989AF9341D47E”>Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report 2015</a>. <a href=”https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/bp210-economy-one-percent-tax-havens-180116-en_0.pdf” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-mce-href=”https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/bp210-economy-one-percent-tax-havens-180116-en_0.pdf”>Oxfam’s new report</a> presents an even more dramatic concentration of assets, finding that 62 individuals controlled more assets than the poorer 3.6 billion people combined, half the world’s population. This is stunning gap – particularly given that researchers such as <a href=”http://www.amazon.com/The-Spirit-Level-Equality-Societies/dp/1608193411″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-mce-href=”http://www.amazon.com/The-Spirit-Level-Equality-Societies/dp/1608193411″>Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett</a> have found that unequal societies tend to be more violent, have higher numbers of people in prison, experience greater levels of mental illness and have lower life expectancies and lower levels of trust.</p><br /><br /> <p>History indicates that consumers tend to gain a lot from industrial revolutions as the cost of goods falls while quality increases, and it seems this is holding true for the latest. Both the Third and Fourth Industrial Revolutions are making possible products and services that increase the efficiency and enjoyability of our lives, while also reducing costs. Organizing transport, booking restaurants, buying groceries and other goods, making payments, listening to music, reading books or watching films – these tasks can now be done instantly, at any time and in almost any place. As Schwab puts it: “The benefits of technology for all of us who consume are incontrovertible.”</p><br /><br /> <p>But what if these benefits fail to contribute materially to broad-based economic growth? Will everyone truly be able to access, afford and enjoy these innovations?</p><br /><br /> <p>An important potential driver of increased inequality is our reliance on digital markets. As Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee point out in <a href=”http://www.amazon.com/The-Second-Machine-Age-Technologies/dp/0393239357″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-mce-href=”http://www.amazon.com/The-Second-Machine-Age-Technologies/dp/0393239357″>The Second Machine Age</a>, globally connected digital platforms tend to grant outsized rewards to a small number of star products and services, which are in turn able to be delivered at almost zero marginal cost. In addition, the dominance of digital platforms themselves, given their power, influence and profitability, is concerning to many, <a href=”https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/online-platforms-digital-single-market” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-mce-href=”https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/online-platforms-digital-single-market”>including the European Commission</a>. Research shows that in 2013, <a href=”http://executive.mit.edu/blog/the-ups-and-downs-of-dynamic-pricing#.Vpyb8-grKM8″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-mce-href=”http://executive.mit.edu/blog/the-ups-and-downs-of-dynamic-pricing#.Vpyb8-grKM8″>14 of the top 30 brands</a> were platform-oriented companies.</p><br /><br /> <p>Perhaps the most discussed driver of inequality is the potential for the Fourth Industrial Revolution to increase unemployment. All industrial revolutions create and destroy jobs, but unfortunately there is evidence that new industries are creating relatively fewer positions than in the past. According to <a href=”http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/nov/07/artificial-intelligence-homo-sapiens-split-handful-gods” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-mce-href=”http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/nov/07/artificial-intelligence-homo-sapiens-split-handful-gods”>calculations by Carl Benedict Frey</a> from the Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment, only 0.5% of the US workforce is employed today in industries that did not exist at the turn of the 21st century, a far lower percentage than the approximately 8.2% of new jobs created in new industries during the 1980s and the 4.4% of new jobs created during the 1990s.</p><br /><br /> <p>Furthermore, the type of jobs being created in these industries tend to require higher levels of education and specialized study, while those being destroyed involve physical or routine tasks. The Forum’s <a href=”http://reports.weforum.org/future-of-jobs-2016/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-mce-href=”http://reports.weforum.org/future-of-jobs-2016/”><i>Future of Jobs Report</i></a> surveyed leading human resources executives and presents evidence that future jobs will increasingly require complex problem-solving, social and systems skills. An upward bias to skill requirements disproportionally affect older and lower-income cohorts and those working in industries most prone to automation by new technologies.</p><br /><br /> <picture></picture><p><i>Source: <a href=”https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-future-of-jobs” data-mce-href=”https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-future-of-jobs”>The Future of Jobs Report</a></i></p><br /><br /> <p>Shifts in employment and skills may also increase <a href=”http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2015/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-mce-href=”http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2015/”>gender inequality</a>. Unemployment due to automation has in the past concentrated in sectors that mostly employ men, such as manufacturing and construction. But the ability to use artificial intelligence and other technologies to automate tasks in service industries puts many more job categories at risk in the future. These include jobs that are the source of livelihood for many young female workers and lower-middle-class women around the world, including call centre, retail and administrative roles.</p><br /><br /> <p>The Fourth Industrial Revolution may affect inequality across economies as well as within them. In particular, the increasing flexibility of capital in the form of robots and other advanced manufacturing systems may erode the comparative advantage currently enjoyed by many emerging and developing countries, which are focused on labour-intensive goods and services. The phenomenon of “re-shoring” could have a particularly negative effect on those least developed economies just beginning to industrialize as they integrate into the global economy.</p><br /><br /> <p><b>2. </b><b>Security</b></p><br /><br /> <p>Increasing inequality doesn’t just affect productivity, mental health and trust – it also creates security concerns for both citizens and states. The Forum’s <a href=”http://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-risks-report-2016″ data-mce-href=”http://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-risks-report-2016″><i>Global Risks Report 2016</i></a> highlights that a hyper-connected world, when combined with rising inequality, could lead to fragmentation, segregation and social unrest. This mix of factors creates the conditions for violent extremism and other security threats enabled by power shifting to non-state actors.</p><br /><br /> <p>Furthermore, the strategic space for conflict is changing. The combination of the digital world with emerging technologies is creating new “battlespaces”, expanding access to lethal technologies and making it harder to govern and negotiate among states to ensure peace.</p><br /><br /> <p>The rapid spread of digital infrastructure thanks to the Third Industrial Revolution means that during the Fourth Industrial Revolution, cyberspace is now as strategic a theatre of engagement as land, sea and air. As Schwab puts it, “while any future conflict between reasonably advanced actors may or may not play out in the physical world, it will most likely include a cyber-dimension simply because no modern opponent would resist the temptation to disrupt, confuse or destroy their enemy’s sensors, communications and decision-making capability.”</p><br /><br /> <p>The technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution also offer expanded capabilities for waging war which are increasingly accessible to both state and non-state actors, such as drones, autonomous weapons, nanomaterials, biological and biochemical weapons, wearable devices and distributed energy sources.</p><br /><br /> <p>On the frontier of emerging military technologies are those that interact directly with the human brain to augment or even control soldiers. Even these are not limited to government military programmes. “It’s not a question of if non-state actors will use some form of neuroscientific techniques or technologies, but when, and which ones they’ll use,” argues <a href=”http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/09/14/this-is-your-brain-this-is-yourbrain-” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-mce-href=”http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/09/14/this-is-your-brain-this-is-yourbrain-“>James Giordano, from Georgetown University Medical Center</a>. “The brain is the next battlespace.”</p><br /><br /> <p>Such security fears are further augmented by the fact that a proliferation of dual-use technologies available to a wider range of actors makes it much harder to put into place international agreements and norms to support the peaceful resolution of conflicts. The security challenge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be one of coordinating large numbers of potentially lethal private and public sector actors in multiple strategic and cultural contexts. A difficult task indeed.</p><br /><br /> <p><b>3. </b><b>Identity, voice and community</b><i></i></p><br /><br /> <p>In addition to concerns around rising inequality and threatened security, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will also affect us as individuals and members of communities. Already, digital media is increasingly becoming the primary driver of our individual and collective framing of society and community, connecting people to individuals and groups in new ways, fostering friendships and creating new interest groups. Furthermore, such connections transcend many traditional boundaries of interaction.</p><br /><br /> <p>Unfortunately, expanded connectivity does not necessarily lead to expanded or more diverse worldviews. Paradoxically, the dynamics of social media use can serve to <a href=”http://www.pewinternet.org/files/2014/08/PI_Social-networks-and-debate_082614.pdf” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-mce-href=”http://www.pewinternet.org/files/2014/08/PI_Social-networks-and-debate_082614.pdf”>narrow available news sources</a>. In addition, controversial or anti-establishment views can be further undermined by states and other actors willing to use new technologies and platforms to restrict speech and harass citizens, as detailed in the Forum’s <a href=”http://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-risks-report-2016″ data-mce-href=”http://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-risks-report-2016″><i>Global Risks Report 2016</i></a>. It is important that the emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution increase diversity and the potential for collaboration rather than driving polarisation.</p><br /><br /> <p>Emerging technologies, particularly in the biological realm, are also raising new questions about what it means to be human. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is the first where the tools of technology can become literally embedded within us and even purposefully change who we are at the level of our genetic makeup. It is completely conceivable that forms of radical human improvement will be available within a generation, innovations that risk creating entirely new forms of inequality and class conflict.</p><br /><br /> <p><b>Conclusion</b></p><br /><br /> <p>Martin Nowak, a professor of mathematics and biology at Harvard University, stated that cooperation is “the only thing that will redeem mankind”. If we have the courage to take collective responsibility for the changes underway, and the ability to work together to raise awareness and shape new narratives, we can embark on restructuring our economic, social and political systems to take full advantage of emerging technologies.</p><br /><br /> <p>The complexity of the technologies driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the breadth of their impact means that all stakeholder groups to work together on innovative governance approaches. As <a href=”https://theconversation.com/the-fourth-industrial-revolution-what-does-wefs-klaus-schwab-leave-out-53049″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-mce-href=”https://theconversation.com/the-fourth-industrial-revolution-what-does-wefs-klaus-schwab-leave-out-53049″>Andrew Maynard from the Risk Innovation Lab points out</a>, we should learn from, implement and extend thoughtful approaches to dealing with the intersection of technology and society such as <a href=”http://sss.sagepub.com/content/44/2/218.full.pdf+html” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-mce-href=”http://sss.sagepub.com/content/44/2/218.full.pdf+html”>anticipatory governance</a> and <a href=”http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048733313000930″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-mce-href=”http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048733313000930″>responsible innovation</a>, supporting widespread reflection on the development, commercialisation and diffusion of current and emerging technologies.</p><br /><br /> <p>The goal of this reflection is naturally to ensure that emerging technologies and the Fourth Industrial Revolution improve lives in as broad-based and meaningful a way possible. However, even greater possibilities could emerge from bringing stakeholders together in new ways to discuss the future of technology and society.</p><br /><br /> <p>As Schwab writes: “The new technology age, if shaped in a responsive and responsible way, could catalyse a new cultural renaissance that will enable us to feel part of something much larger than ourselves – a true global civilization… We can use the Fourth Industrial Revolution to lift humanity into a new collective and moral consciousness based on a shared sense of destiny.”</p><br /><br /> <p><b>More on the Fourth Industrial Revolution</b></p><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>There are three reasons why today’s transformations represent not merely a prolongation of the Third Industrial Revolution but rather the arrival of a Fourth and distinct one: velocity, scope, and systems impact. The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p><i><a href=”https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/06/the-poetry-of-progress” data-mce-href=”https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/06/the-poetry-of-progress”>Read more: The surprising link between science fiction and economic history</a></i></p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>The possibilities of billions of people connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge, are unlimited. And these possibilities will be multiplied by emerging technology breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–video st__content-block–video-default”><div class=”st__content-block–video-container”>Already, artificial intelligence is all around us, from self-driving cars and drones to virtual assistants and software that translate or invest. Impressive progress has been made in AI in recent years, driven by exponential increases in computing power and by the availability of vast amounts of data, from software used to discover new drugs to algorithms used to predict our cultural interests. Digital fabrication technologies, meanwhile, are interacting with the biological world on a daily basis. Engineers, designers, and architects are combining computational design, additive manufacturing, materials engineering, and synthetic biology to pioneer a symbiosis between microorganisms, our bodies, the products we consume, and even the buildings we inhabit.</div><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p><b>Challenges and opportunities</b></p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>Like the revolutions that preceded it, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has the potential to raise global income levels and improve the quality of life for populations around the world. To date, those who have gained the most from it have been consumers able to afford and access the digital world; technology has made possible new products and services that increase the efficiency and pleasure of our personal lives. Ordering a cab, booking a flight, buying a product, making a payment, listening to music, watching a film, or playing a game—any of these can now be done remotely.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>In the future, technological innovation will also lead to a supply-side miracle, with long-term gains in efficiency and productivity. Transportation and communication costs will drop, logistics and global supply chains will become more effective, and the cost of trade will diminish, all of which will open new markets and drive economic growth.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>At the same time, as the economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee have pointed out, the revolution could yield greater inequality, particularly in its potential to disrupt labor markets. As automation substitutes for labor across the entire economy, the net displacement of workers by machines might exacerbate the gap between returns to capital and returns to labor. On the other hand, it is also possible that the displacement of workers by technology will, in aggregate, result in a net increase in safe and rewarding jobs.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>We cannot foresee at this point which scenario is likely to emerge, and history suggests that the outcome is likely to be some combination of the two. However, I am convinced of one thing—that in the future, talent, more than capital, will represent the critical factor of production. This will give rise to a job market increasingly segregated into “low-skill/low-pay” and “high-skill/high-pay” segments, which in turn will lead to an increase in social tensions.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>In addition to being a key economic concern, inequality represents the greatest societal concern associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The largest beneficiaries of innovation tend to be the providers of intellectual and physical capital—the innovators, shareholders, and investors—which explains the rising gap in wealth between those dependent on capital versus labor. Technology is therefore one of the main reasons why incomes have stagnated, or even decreased, for a majority of the population in high-income countries: the demand for highly skilled workers has increased while the demand for workers with less education and lower skills has decreased. The result is a job market with a strong demand at the high and low ends, but a hollowing out of the middle.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>This helps explain why so many workers are disillusioned and fearful that their own real incomes and those of their children will continue to stagnate. It also helps explain why middle classes around the world are increasingly experiencing a pervasive sense of dissatisfaction and unfairness. A winner-takes-all economy that offers only limited access to the middle class is a recipe for democratic malaise and dereliction.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>Discontent can also be fueled by the pervasiveness of digital technologies and the dynamics of information sharing typified by social media. More than 30 percent of the global population now uses social media platforms to connect, learn, and share information. In an ideal world, these interactions would provide an opportunity for cross-cultural understanding and cohesion. However, they can also create and propagate unrealistic expectations as to what constitutes success for an individual or a group, as well as offer opportunities for extreme ideas and ideologies to spread.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p><b>The impact on business</b></p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>An underlying theme in my conversations with global CEOs and senior business executives is that the acceleration of innovation and the velocity of disruption are hard to comprehend or anticipate and that these drivers constitute a source of constant surprise, even for the best connected and most well informed. Indeed, across all industries, there is clear evidence that the technologies that underpin the Fourth Industrial Revolution are having a major impact on businesses.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>On the supply side, many industries are seeing the introduction of new technologies that create entirely new ways of serving existing needs and significantly disrupt existing industry value chains. Disruption is also flowing from agile, innovative competitors who, thanks to access to global digital platforms for research, development, marketing, sales, and distribution, can oust well-established incumbents faster than ever by improving the quality, speed, or price at which value is delivered.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>Major shifts on the demand side are also occurring, as growing transparency, consumer engagement, and new patterns of consumer behavior (increasingly built upon access to mobile networks and data) force companies to adapt the way they design, market, and deliver products and services.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>A key trend is the development of technology-enabled platforms that combine both demand and supply to disrupt existing industry structures, such as those we see within the “sharing” or “on demand” economy. These technology platforms, rendered easy to use by the smartphone, convene people, assets, and data—thus creating entirely new ways of consuming goods and services in the process. In addition, they lower the barriers for businesses and individuals to create wealth, altering the personal and professional environments of workers. These new platform businesses are rapidly multiplying into many new services, ranging from laundry to shopping, from chores to parking, from massages to travel.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>On the whole, there are four main effects that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has on business—on customer expectations, on product enhancement, on collaborative innovation, and on organizational forms. Whether consumers or businesses, customers are increasingly at the epicenter of the economy, which is all about improving how customers are served. Physical products and services, moreover, can now be enhanced with digital capabilities that increase their value. New technologies make assets more durable and resilient, while data and analytics are transforming how they are maintained. A world of customer experiences, data-based services, and asset performance through analytics, meanwhile, requires new forms of collaboration, particularly given the speed at which innovation and disruption are taking place. And the emergence of global platforms and other new business models, finally, means that talent, culture, and organizational forms will have to be rethought.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>Overall, the inexorable shift from simple digitization (the Third Industrial Revolution) to innovation based on combinations of technologies (the Fourth Industrial Revolution) is forcing companies to reexamine the way they do business. The bottom line, however, is the same: business leaders and senior executives need to understand their changing environment, challenge the assumptions of their operating teams, and relentlessly and continuously innovate.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p><b>The impact on government</b></p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>As the physical, digital, and biological worlds continue to converge, new technologies and platforms will increasingly enable citizens to engage with governments, voice their opinions, coordinate their efforts, and even circumvent the supervision of public authorities. Simultaneously, governments will gain new technological powers to increase their control over populations, based on pervasive surveillance systems and the ability to control digital infrastructure. On the whole, however, governments will increasingly face pressure to change their current approach to public engagement and policymaking, as their central role of conducting policy diminishes owing to new sources of competition and the redistribution and decentralization of power that new technologies make possible.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>Ultimately, the ability of government systems and public authorities to adapt will determine their survival. If they prove capable of embracing a world of disruptive change, subjecting their structures to the levels of transparency and efficiency that will enable them to maintain their competitive edge, they will endure. If they cannot evolve, they will face increasing trouble.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>This will be particularly true in the realm of regulation. Current systems of public policy and decision-making evolved alongside the Second Industrial Revolution, when decision-makers had time to study a specific issue and develop the necessary response or appropriate regulatory framework. The whole process was designed to be linear and mechanistic, following a strict “top down” approach.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>But such an approach is no longer feasible. Given the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s rapid pace of change and broad impacts, legislators and regulators are being challenged to an unprecedented degree and for the most part are proving unable to cope.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>How, then, can they preserve the interest of the consumers and the public at large while continuing to support innovation and technological development? By embracing “agile” governance, just as the private sector has increasingly adopted agile responses to software development and business operations more generally. This means regulators must continuously adapt to a new, fast-changing environment, reinventing themselves so they can truly understand what it is they are regulating. To do so, governments and regulatory agencies will need to collaborate closely with business and civil society.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>The Fourth Industrial Revolution will also profoundly impact the nature of national and international security, affecting both the probability and the nature of conflict. The history of warfare and international security is the history of technological innovation, and today is no exception. Modern conflicts involving states are increasingly “hybrid” in nature, combining traditional battlefield techniques with elements previously associated with nonstate actors. The distinction between war and peace, combatant and noncombatant, and even violence and nonviolence (think cyberwarfare) is becoming uncomfortably blurry.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>As this process takes place and new technologies such as autonomous or biological weapons become easier to use, individuals and small groups will increasingly join states in being capable of causing mass harm. This new vulnerability will lead to new fears. But at the same time, advances in technology will create the potential to reduce the scale or impact of violence, through the development of new modes of protection, for example, or greater precision in targeting.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p><b>The impact on people</b></p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>The Fourth Industrial Revolution, finally, will change not only what we do but also who we are. It will affect our identity and all the issues associated with it: our sense of privacy, our notions of ownership, our consumption patterns, the time we devote to work and leisure, and how we develop our careers, cultivate our skills, meet people, and nurture relationships. It is already changing our health and leading to a “quantified” self, and sooner than we think it may lead to human augmentation. The list is endless because it is bound only by our imagination.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>I am a great enthusiast and early adopter of technology, but sometimes I wonder whether the inexorable integration of technology in our lives could diminish some of our quintessential human capacities, such as compassion and cooperation. Our relationship with our smartphones is a case in point. Constant connection may deprive us of one of life’s most important assets: the time to pause, reflect, and engage in meaningful conversation.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>One of the greatest individual challenges posed by new information technologies is privacy. We instinctively understand why it is so essential, yet the tracking and sharing of information about us is a crucial part of the new connectivity. Debates about fundamental issues such as the impact on our inner lives of the loss of control over our data will only intensify in the years ahead. Similarly, the revolutions occurring in biotechnology and AI, which are redefining what it means to be human by pushing back the current thresholds of life span, health, cognition, and capabilities, will compel us to redefine our moral and ethical boundaries.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p><b>Shaping the future</b></p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>Neither technology nor the disruption that comes with it is an exogenous force over which humans have no control. All of us are responsible for guiding its evolution, in the decisions we make on a daily basis as citizens, consumers, and investors. We should thus grasp the opportunity and power we have to shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution and direct it toward a future that reflects our common objectives and values.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>To do this, however, we must develop a comprehensive and globally shared view of how technology is affecting our lives and reshaping our economic, social, cultural, and human environments. There has never been a time of greater promise, or one of greater potential peril. Today’s decision-makers, however, are too often trapped in traditional, linear thinking, or too absorbed by the multiple crises demanding their attention, to think strategically about the forces of disruption and innovation shaping our future.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>In the end, it all comes down to people and values. We need to shape a future that works for all of us by putting people first and empowering them. In its most pessimistic, dehumanized form, the Fourth Industrial Revolution may indeed have the potential to “robotize” humanity and thus to deprive us of our heart and soul. But as a complement to the best parts of human nature—creativity, empathy, stewardship—it can also lift humanity into a new collective and moral consciousness based on a shared sense of destiny. It is incumbent on us all to make sure the latter prevails.</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>This article was first published in Foreign Affairs</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>Author: Klaus Schwab is Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum</p><br /><br /> </div><div class=”st__content-block st__content-block–text”><p>Image: An Aeronavics drone sits in a paddock near the town of Raglan, New Zealand, July 6, 2015. REUTERS/Naomi Tajitsu</p><br /><br /> </div><br /><br /> [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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