The Fourth Industrial Revolution
We are at the beginning of a global transformation that is characterized by the convergence of digital, physical, and biological technologies in ways that are changing both the world around us and our very idea of what it means to be human. The changes are historic in terms of their size, speed, and scope.
This transformation—the Fourth Industrial Revolution—is not defined by any particular set of emerging technologies themselves, but rather by the transition to new systems that are being built on the infrastructure of the digital revolution. As these individual technologies become ubiquitous, they will fundamentally alter the way we produce, consume, communicate, move, generate energy, and interact with one another.
And given the new powers in genetic engineering and neurotechnologies, they may directly impact who we are and how we think and behave. The fundamental and global nature of this revolution also poses new threats related to the disruptions it may cause—affecting labor markets and the future of work, income inequality, and geopolitical security as well as social value systems and ethical frameworks.
Adapted from Klaus Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, 2016.