According to Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, we “stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another”. The central premise of his argument holds true: that the world has undergone massive change through a series of industrial revolutions – from the advent of water and steam power to electric power and the rise of electronics and computers. In Schwab’s crowdsourced book, written using concepts from the Third Industrial Revolution, he reasons that the scale, speed and impact of new technologies – built around artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, additive manufacturing and biotechnology – are so profound that in history “there has never been a time of greater promise or potential peril”. Progress in technology has always been linked to improvements in living standards. The original Industrial Revolution (...

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