The world is on the brink of a new, all-encompassing revolution moving at exponential speed. We are witnessing the emergence of innovative technological trends such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, robotics, 3D printing, nanotechnology, and others with applications as diverse as the technologies themselves. The combination of these technological breakthroughs is the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Each revolution brings systemic implications and this one is no different. What is different is the extensiveness of its scope and the vitality of its impact on our existing interaction, distribution, production and consumption systems – and even on our identities.
But the impact of the technological revolution on economies and society is not preordained and can be shaped by policies at the local, national and global levels.In order to optimally leverage the Fourth Industrial Revolution for our collective progress and prosperity, we need governance frameworks, protocols and policy systems that ensure inclusive and equitable benefits. Most importantly, we need to embrace the fact that technological evolution exists in a social context and not just as a business case. In order to achieve this, we need to design normative and regulatory approaches to ensure that it is human-led and human-centred.
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