Presidential Candidate Ahn Cheol-soo of the People’s Party repeatedly reiterated the importance and urgency to actively meet the requirements of the approaching era of Fourth Industrial Revolution—befitting his original job titles: a scientist, a medical doctor and a scholar.
Speaking at panel discussions with four other Presidential candidates at repeated TV roundtables in late April, Ahn emphasized that Fourth Industry was the area on which the Korean people must concentrate their efforts to live by staying competitive in the face of fast-growing competition in the world.
So, what is the Fourth Industrial Revolution all about?
According to Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, the world, today, stands on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another.
In its scale, scope, and complexity, says Schwab, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. He says, “We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.”
Here are excerpts from his statement:
“The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.
“There are three reasons why today’s transformations represent not merely a prolongation of the Third Industrial Revolution but rather the arrival of a Fourth and distinct one: velocity, scope, and systems impact. The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.”
In an article published in the Korean-language daily, Maeil Kyungje, on April 25, 2017, Editorial Writer Son Hyeon-deok welcomed the proposals of the Presidential candidates of Korea, who all demanded (1) increased investment in the development of Fourth Industry technologies, (2) training of creatively minded manpower and (3) development of new industries related with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
To attain the goal of smooth accomplishment of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, he stated: “Korea must now concentrate on training qualified people to carry out the work of the Revolution. A substantial extent of educational system must be changed to meet the requirement of the new age. And restrictions on the industries must be substantially lifted. There would be resistance from the group of people with vested rights. This must be over ome at all cost.
Lee Kyung-sik firstname.lastname@example.org
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