WEF founder Schwab issues new book on technological advances

Updated 2018-01-19 10:22:03 Xinhua

The World Economic Forum (WEF) on Thursday released a new book by its founder Klaus Schwab, entitled Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution, focused on harnessing technological advances.

The book aims to help leaders develop the techniques necessary to harness technological advances to solve critical global challenges said WEF in a statement.

"It took the world more than a decade to develop a collective response to climate change," said Schwab.

"If we take the same amount of time to respond to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we will have lost the opportunity to influence the development of the technologies that shape the way we work, live and act," he said.

Schwab said that if the world acts now it will have the chance to ensure that technologies, such as artificial intelligence, improve the lives and prospects of as many people as possible.

The book highlights the urgent need for new action and thinking on the governance of emerging technologies.

The book is a sequel to Schwab's 2016 book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution.

WEF said the new book provides a practical guide to understanding 12 sets of emerging technologies from a systems perspective and better appreciating the rules, norms, institutions and values that shape their development and use.

Such an approach is necessary, says Schwab, given the unprecedented speed at which technology is developing, which makes outdated and redundant the approaches of governments, regulators and companies on which we rely to manage the impact of technologies.

WEF says Schwab's response is for leaders to adopt a "systems leadership" approach to ensure that developments in technology are not able to occur without parallel consideration being given to rules, norms, values and infrastructure.

Unless technology develops within an inclusive and sustainable governance system, the Fourth Industrial Revolution could exacerbate income inequality, leaving billions of people behind, while wasting the opportunity to deploy technology to help address global challenges, says Schwab.

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