The 4th industrial revolution will be propelled by 12 emerging technologies - here they are
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has just published, this Friday, January 12, 2018, a report that shows which countries are the most able to embrace the fourth industrial revolution underway, through the adoption of emerging technologies.
The fourth industrial revolution, sometimes called “industry 4.0”, refers to a transformation of the means of production via the emergence of so-called smart factories, but also management and governance means.
In collaboration with the strategy consulting firm A.T. Kearney, the WEF report lists 12 emerging technologies that are already starting to propel this 4th industrial revolution. Here they are:
- artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics,
- the Internet of Things (IoT),
- augmented and virtual reality,
- additive manufacturing technologies, including innovations such as 3D bioimpression of organic tissues,
- blockchain and distributed ledger technology,
- innovative materials and nanomaterials: new shape memory materials, with higher thermoelectric efficiency etc,
- the transmission, capture and storage of energy: whether for the batteries of smartphones or electric cars or regarding the use of renewable energies,
- new computing technologies like quantum computing,
- biotechnology: innovations in genetic engineering, genome sequencing etc,
- geoengineering: technological intervention in planetary systems, such as reducing the effects of climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air or managing solar radiation,
- neurotechnology: smart drugs, neuroimaging etc,
- and space technologies: microsatellites, reusable rockets, advanced telescopes etc.
In this report, however, the WEF warns that this fourth industrial revolution carries risks:
“New economic models could very quickly alter the attractiveness of manufacturing locations, leading to a very high concentration of international manufacturing activity in a small handful of countries and companies and shaking up countries in which manufacturing activity will drop significantly. The ‘double winners’ or ‘double losers’ of globalization and the 4th industrial revolution could lead to an increase in inequality and social unrest.”
Whether in terms of structure or means of production, France ranks 14th among the countries most able to embrace the 4th industrial revolution.
According to the WEF ranking, in terms of production structure, Japan followed by South Korea and Germany would be the three leading countries. In terms of means of production, it would be the United States, followed by Singapore and Switzerland.