Are we prepared for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Artificial intelligence: Robot working at a desk

It has been suggested by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF), that the number of robots taking over jobs from people will possibly increase from the current 29 percent and could rise to more than 50 percent of the current workload in less than a decade. The thinktank warned that machines could force 75 million people out of jobs as early as 2025.

The report dubbed this rapid displacement of workers ‘the Fourth Industrial Revolution’.

However, the shift in workplace dynamics might be offset by robots creating even more jobs than they replace. Despite forcing tens of millions out of jobs in the next four years, the WEF hopes that nearly twice as many more job opportunities may be created.

The WEF report on the future of jobs said that about half of today?s core jobs?making up the bulk of employment across industries?will remain stable in the period up to 2022.

The robotisation of the workplace, artificial intelligence?and the improvement in technologies may create up to 133 million brand-new jobs for humans to do. New roles may emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms.

The Asiatic Research Institute at Korea University advised that the key to surviving widespread automation is education through investment by Industry. In other words we have to rethink how we approach jobs.

The outcome of the race between technology and education will determine whether the opportunities presented by major innovations are seized and whether the benefits of progress can be widely shared.

The process of machines taking over jobs from humans has been evident over the past 200 years. For example, the automation of the agricultural sector moved workers first into the industrial sector and then into the service sector when the industrial industries were automated. Who would have imagined 30 years ago that we would have people designing apps and working as software engineers; so who knows what our kids are going to be doing 30 years from now?

A 2017 survey of 46 countries and 800 different work environments has painted a very different picture to the one hoped for by the World Economic Forum. It found that the number of people forced out of jobs by machines could be near the one billion?mark?by 2030. The report published by the McKinsey Global Institute said that up to one-fifth of the world?s total?workforce?will feel the effects of automation. Initially machine operators and food industry workers could be hit the hardest over the next 12 years.

Some ?new jobs’ will emerge as a result of Robotics or Artificial Intelligence creating more employment opportunities but ?Nations? will have to invest heavily?in?the workforce and education to stay ahead of the trend.

From our perspective in New Zealand, and in fact the West, we require the continuation of Capitalism as our fiscal model and to facilitate the education and development of educators to attempt to stay ahead of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

New Zealand is experiencing the degradation or dumbing down of our education system by the systematic erosion of free choice, parental influence and the union driven socialist government. Allied with academia, they are placing political ideology ahead of the education and future of students.

The future progress of investment into education to keep ahead of the Fourth Industrial revolution is further inhibited by a selected government which propagandised that Capitalism has failed. Recently we had a tax working group extolling their version of a ?fairer? and, of course, increased tax system that will damage businesses and investment in New Zealand enterprise ventures. This will further cripple our ability to invest in and initiate compatible enterprising educational curricula to keep abreast of rapid industrial change.

Socialism is the failure. We need to make sure that this government is removed from office. The alternative is mass unemployment, disillusioned youth, increased crime, and poverty resulting in the ?Democratic Socialist Republic of Aotearoa?.