The Fifth Industrial Revolution

24/12/2020 General | H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori

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Much talk is going on in the global literature about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which has begun to change almost everything in our lives. Although we are at the beginning of this revolution, yet a group of experts and sociologists are urging the pace to accelerate the next inevitable development, represented by the so-called Fifth Industrial Revolution, so what is the story?

Every historical milestone served as a basis for the next. The steam engines that launched the first industrial revolution paved the way for the boom of industry supported by electricity, combustion engines, and steel processing in what became known as the second industrial revolution which, in turn, established automation and computing in the last quarter of the 20th century (the third revolution). The computer was the basis of today’s revolution of artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of things, blockchain, digital currencies, and others, known as the fourth industrial revolution.

Despite the expenses of each revolution, the wheel of development did not stop but rather continued steadily. However, discussions in prestigious forums about the implications of digital technology and massive industrialisation indicates the urgent need for global efforts parallel to these developments for major transformations that lead to humanity’s prosperity and development.

From here arose the sustainable development goals launched by the United Nations, which were the embodiment of the collective efforts made by experts from all continents to adjust the balance of major technical and digital transformations and to give them sufficient “humanisation”. Those seventeen development goals are the evident reflection of what some call the Fifth Industrial Revolution, which aims to ensure a decent place for human values in the outcomes of the fourth revolution.

Last year, the World Economic Forum addressed possible future scenarios, in light of the joint progress of the fourth revolution and development goals tracks. However, some experts warned that what governments of 193 countries allocated to achieve these goals until 2030 barely reaches $ 1.5 trillion, which is much less than the amount needed, around $ 4 trillion, as per experts.

The solution, in their opinion, lies in sharing responsibility, as companies should make humanitarian efforts, and integrate non-profit goals into their culture along with their main goal of achieving financial profit. This approach should not be limited to large companies, but rather, each according to its ability and starting from their local community. Do we see the private sector in the world raising the banner of sustainable human development side by side with governments?

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