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Are we ready for the Digital Revolution?

By 2025, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will bring amazing developments into Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Autonomous Transport, which will radically transform the way we live and work. There already are intense debates about jobs that will disappear as a result of automation with robots and new ones that will appear. But what does the balance look like? Will it be balanced?

What does life look like in the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Humanity has already gone through three industrial revolutions, each changing radically society and the way we live. What is different at the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Basically the speed at which it happens. It is actually the Digital Revolution, which is happening at a very fast pace, making us react in an accelerated rhythm to its effects.

Artificial intelligence seems to be the key word for the past 3 years, and we already have many elements around us that confirm the trend of digital transformation:

  • We already have autonomous vehicles and drones and testing the use of the drones as taxi and ambulance.

  • We have virtual voice assistants (Siri, Cortana, Alexa)

  • We have smart software that learns from experiences with machine learning

  • We live in smart buildings and cities.

By 2027, Artificial Intelligence will make 24.7 million jobs disappear

According to the "The Future of Jobs" report released last year by the World Economic Forum, more than 7.1 million jobs will be taken over by robots over the next 5 years, with the most affected countries being the US, Japan, China, France, India, Italy, Australia and the United Kingdom. In addition, more than 35% of the skills and competencies now being looked for at employees will change. So it is possible for the students who are entering the current educational system to prepare for some jobs that will not exist and will acquire some skills that will not be up to date until they complete their studies. The "Future Proof Yourself - Tomorrow's Jobs" report, published by Microsoft, says that 65% of today's students will have jobs that do not yet exist. Therefore, by 2015, we will see fundamental transformations of society and labor, which we still do not know how to prepare for.

On the other hand, rapid developments based on artificial intelligence will allow intelligent machines to learn very quickly and execute tasks efficiently, being able to process data more quickly and with fewer errors than people. This will bring many benefits especially for routine and repetitive tasks. Robots do not complain, do not get tired, they do not require leave, and they will have a higher execution speed. In some cases, a robot can replace 140 human workers. According to statistics published by the International Robotics Federation, in 2018 there will be over 1.3 million new robots globally. In the coming years, we will see a much more intense human-machine interaction, that will be taken to the next level of performance.

A recent report published by Forrester argues that by 2027 artificial intelligence will make 24.7 million jobs disappear and create 14.9 million new jobs, many of them in technology. New technologies will generate new needs and create new skills. For example, the demand for network engineers will significantly increase to ensure systems security, as well the need for Web programmers to create user-optimized experiences, data analysts, robotics experts and artificial intelligence. However, there will also be many jobs that will continue to require unique human skills that artificial intelligence and machines cannot replicate, such as creativity, abstract thinking or complex communication.

A horizon full of opportunities

Digital technologies will create complex and interconnected ecosystems with great potential to improve living conditions and standards globally and create new opportunities. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will practically transform all fields of activity, from the way we communicate or buy to energy or transport.

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