FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
SYLVIA MCKEOWN: Add life-extending medical innovation to the forces changing the future of work
The world has entered an age in which innovations in technology are creating a life expectancy that no current job structure can sustain
All eyes are on President Cyril Ramaphosa once again this week as the much anticipated job summit approaches. There will undoubtedly be a scramble to make the usual big promises, no doubt focusing on our manufacturing and blue-collar sectors, so as to boost the body count in the column against the estimated 9.6-million unemployed South Africans. Union federation Cosatu does not like to acknowledge that the fourth industrial revolution is here. It spouts statements like, “We must challenge the conceptual basis of the fourth industrial revolution. African revolutions have preceded the British industrial revolution.” But, as with climate change, no matter how much you pull an ostrich and stick your head in the ground, change is here. Robotics and artificial intelligence automation will wreak havoc on jobs, and as it stands it will take significant and drastic action to deal with the problem. This is obvious, but I’m not here to talk about the obvious. Instead, let’s consider a complete...