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Media 6: Reading Discussion – Week One

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab 


Throughout this weeks reading, The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab, Schwab discusses the notion that in our present moment of time, we are entering what he describes as The Fourth Industrial Revolution.

At its core, The Fourth Industrial Revolution will alter the way we think, live, work and communicate with each other as a result of immense advancements in technology.

Schwab lists the area that he identifies to be the predominant areas of development over the coming years. These include the Physical (e.g. autonomous vehicles, 3d printing, advanced robotics and new materials), the digital (e.g. virtual networks), and the biological (e.g.synthetic biology). As Schwab states, “all (these) new developments and technologies have one key feature in common: they leverage the persuasive power of digitization’s and information technology” (Schwab, 2016, p. 14).

However, while the positive attributions these developments will have on society are discussed, Schwab additionally speaks of the possible negative outcomes they could unravel. Ethically, these advancements raise questions that we, as a society haven’t had to consider before. For example, in the biological field, Schwab asserts that these developments will question what it means to be human, and while these advancements are coming, as a race we may not necessarily be ready for them.

Additionally, these advancements can work both for and against such lifestyle elements as; individual’s sense of purpose at work and home, the governing of society, security & privacy, as well as power asymmetries.

Throughout his article, Schwab continually highlights the excitement of such a developing world. Nevertheless, he stresses that while the concept of The Fourth Industrial Revolution may be an exciting one, it will also dramatically divide those who can adapt to out new world, and those who cannot.


Prof Klaus Schwab, 2016. The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Edition. The Fourth Industrial Revolution.

rebeccaskilton • July 21, 2016

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