At his address to the International Telecommunication Union world conference held in Durban in September, President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “The decisions we make now, as individual countries and as a global collective, will determine whether the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the opportunity that so many people anticipate or the threat that so many people fear.” The Fourth Industrial Revolution has invoked excitement and fear in equal measure. The advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning and its effect on autonomous services has raised important questions about the future of jobs in the global economy. When electricity was invented it took more than half a century for 65% of US households to receive electricity. A century later it took 10 years for cellphones to proliferate around the world. It took smartphones five years. The speed of adoption of technology has consistently increased, and it is poised to continue. Oracle research has estimated that by 2020 t...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now