4th Industrial Revolution: the challenge to be human


Yes, that’s the real challenge: not being transformed in “humanized robots” but humans being assisted by robots. Human-carrying drones, cars that shift into airplanes, electricity generated it by plants, crops in the desert, microchips inserted it in the skin, solar sockets, etc. All of the above are some of the thousand of examples of the extraordinary advance  of technology. However, it is forecasted that the robot revolution will wipe out 5.1 million jobs. So, a serious debate is important not to stop its progress but to adapt systems -specially the labor market- to this new reality, creating alternatives for not increasing the already high levels of unemployment around the world. Is also foreseeable that they will be more crises like financial global crisis of 2007. Current instability of the financial system and a low recovery of the global economy means endemic rates of unemployment and the additional element of a robot technology will worsen the scenario.

Is a matter of developing adaptation as an asset that do not just apply to climate change but to all global challenges. These revolutionary changes represents a real crisis of identity of what have been traditional codes and need also an innovative cultural approach. Is it for this reason that the search for a new “print” of the labor market is a basic to build a reliable and safe structure.

Indeed, 4th Industrial revolution comes in a historical momentum of unsustainable rates of unemployment in -surprisingly- advanced economies. Examples of Spain, Italy, France  or Greece, shows clearly that we live in a world in crisis ruling by new codes however, without strength to accept it. Too much changes in a relatively short time is translated in a world not able to assimilate it properly, therefore a global crisis. A digital revolution ought to be accompanied by others revolutions, mainly institutional to be able to be enough resilient to tolerate it. A technological revolution is not as simple modern gadgetry, is an entire global system that put upside down the traditional system.

A wonderful as well as threaten phenomenon that makes an uncertain system. Labor market is just one example of this threat: how it ´ll work with current cyclical unemployment in the context of a global economy that is not pumping enough and suffer of low and slow growth? Probably, unemployment will enter in an in-depth vicious circle of cyclical + structural unemployment as different skills are needed to match new requirements of the labor market.

In addition, we live in a world with increasing levels of violence with advanced technologies used for war purposes. Drones that could be used as a “PlayStation game” from one side to the other part of the world, killing thousands of people with 0 risk and 0 responsibility. How a 4th Industrial revolution will fit in a world in war with more sophisticated technology than nuclear power and weapons with a wider impact?.

There is no balance between technology and institutions-society-individuals therefore, there is a world moving faster towards amazing advances and at the same time with societies that have not absorbed this changes with enough strength. Individuals without awareness and solid action as well as global institutions in crisis do not give the necessary safety and confident net towards an urgent “1st political revolution”. All over the world the political class has successfully get to a powerful decision making process but with not equal levels of transparency and accountability. This situation has resulted on weak governments that are not facing global challenges in an effective and stronger way.  If there is not enough training and education around this insertion it will represent not just a revolution in technology but the collapse of societies and an increase of vulnerability.

In the short-term reforms at institutional global level must be done with a special emphasis in labor market and robot revolution, as a way to adapt effectively to this new devastating reality of an already endemic unemployment.

Paradoxically the challenge will also be to continue being human and resilient to  face effectively this contradictory advances that 4th industrial revolution promise to deliver.

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