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Challenges of the fourth industrial revolution

Challenges of the fourth industrial revolution

By Carlos Ayala Ramírez *

This is Industry 4.0, in which production will be fully automated, connected and coordinated by computers. As is known, the term was coined by the German Government to describe a type of factory where all processes are interconnected by the Internet.

For the organizers of the Forum, the aspects of greatest impact of this revolution at the logistics and supply chain level will be 3D printing, the robotization of warehouses and the distribution of products using drones. Consequently, the challenge and objective of the meeting was the search for solutions to the imbalance caused by the advancement of new technologies and by the appearance of new business models.

The Forum also discussed five global risks for the next year and a half: (1) lack of mitigation and adaptation to climate change; (2) weapons of mass destruction; (3) water crisis; (4) large-scale involuntary migrations; and (5) impact of energy prices on businesses.

Now, although the organizers of the event spoke of proposing responses to what they consider to be the great challenges of today (read low inflation, a collapse in the price of oil and a decrease in the price of raw materials, through the crisis of European refugees and the spread of terrorism), critical and ethical voices have pointed to other issues and challenges that are not usually central to the agenda of global elites, but that affect millions of human beings, especially those living in countries denominated "in development", which requires a prompt and unavoidable adaptation to the dynamics that derive from the rich world.

One of these critical voices is the Oxfam organization, which, coinciding with the World Economic Forum in Davos, presented its report "An economy serving the 1%." The document denounces that economic systems are increasingly benefiting the 1% of the richest population.

According to Oxfam, extreme inequality in the world is reaching unbearable heights. Today, the richest 1% of the world's population owns more wealth than the remaining 99% of the world's people. Power and privilege are being used to manipulate the economic system and thus widen the gap, leaving hundreds of millions of people without hope. Likewise, the global network of tax havens allows a privileged minority to hide 7.6 trillion dollars in them.

Oxfam analyzed 200 companies, including the largest in the world and the strategic partners of the World Economic Forum, and reveals that 9 out of 10 have a presence in tax havens. In 2014, the investment directed at them was almost four times higher than in 2001.

This global system of tax evasion and avoidance is diverting essential resources to guarantee the welfare state of rich countries, in addition to depriving the rest of the essential resources to fight poverty, ensure children's schooling and prevent their inhabitants from dying from it. of diseases that can be cured easily.

From an ethical and prophetic spirit, the Pope addressed the organizers of the Forum, exhorting them, first of all, not to forget the poor. This is, according to Francisco, the main challenge of the leaders of the business world. He noted that "whoever has the means to live a dignified life, instead of worrying about their privileges, should try to help the poorest so that they can also access a living condition in accordance with human dignity, through the development of their human, cultural, economic and social potential ”.

Referring to the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution, he said they have been accompanied by the growing feeling that a drastic reduction in the number of jobs will be inevitable. The "financialization" and "technologization" of economies, the pope points out, have produced far-reaching changes in the field of work: fewer opportunities for decent employment, a reduction in social security, an increase in inequality and poverty.

Faced with the profound changes that mark the epoch, Francis proposes to world leaders a challenge and a necessity. The challenge is to ensure that the future fourth industrial revolution, the result of robotics and scientific and technological innovations, does not lead to the destruction of the human person - replaced by a machine without a soul - or to the transformation of the planet into an empty garden for the enjoyment of a chosen few. And the need to create new forms of business activity that promote the development of advanced technologies and are capable of using them to create decent work for all, uphold and consolidate social rights and protect the environment.

Finally, the Bishop of Rome says - in the most authentic and genuine Christian tradition - it is man who must guide technological development, without being dominated by it. Taking care of the common home and the person comes first.

* Director of Radio YSUCA

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Video: Education for the 4th Industrial Revolution. Dr. John Baruch. TEDxBradford (September 2021).