CAN IT LEAD THE WORLD?IT will lead the world.We are now living out the Fourth Industrial Revolution. More than 30 percent of the global population now uses social media platforms to connect, learn, and share information. They are connected by mobile devices with the processing power, storage capacity and global connectivity to make knowledge and information available to the masses.This technological capability is being enhanced by steady advances in artificial intelligence, robotics and the Internet of Things, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing.
Compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. Entire systems of production, management, and governance are being transformed.
Overall, the inexorable shift from simple digitization (the Third Industrial Revolution) to innovation based on combinations of technologies (the Fourth Industrial Revolution) is forcing companies to reexamine the way they do business. Patterns of consumer behaviour are evolving that are built upon access to mobile networks and data.Given the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s rapid pace of change and broad impacts, legislators and regulators are challenged to an unprecedented degree. How can they preserve the interest of the consumers and the public at large while continuing to support innovation and technological development? This can be achieved only by embracing ‘agile’ governance, just as the private sector adopted agile responses to software development and business operations.
This means regulators must continuously adapt to a new, fast-changing environment, reinventing themselves so they can truly understand what it is they are regulating. To do so, governments and regulatory agencies will need to collaborate closely with business and civil society and with all stakeholders.So far, individuals are educated and trained for expertise and knowledge; they then enter the workforce to apply this knowledge in their jobs. However, the reality today is that rising machine intelligence can digitize and automate processes and tasks. This rapid proliferation of global connectivity and dissemination of content reduces the value of an individual’s stock of knowledge, it reduces the ability of a worker to monetize a single dose of education over a career lifespan; the concept of a profession cries out for a re-definition. For instance, it has been estimated that:65% of the students in school today will work in jobs that do not currently exist;47% of today’s jobs will be automated in the next two decades;By 2020, more than 50% of the content in a graduate degree will be useless in 5 years.We must all aspire to work better together. Technology is making some of that effort easier.
But digital tools are only part of the answer. It’s people who ultimately make the difference. In Malaysia, according to the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the agency that is charged with operationalizing the government’s agenda under the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Malaysia is now moving towards an e-commerce focused economy as well as encouraging the creation of new job scopes such as Data Scientists, ie programmers who are dedicated to the teaching and promotion of data science. E-commerce has been growing at 11 per cent in Malaysia and MDEC is committed to galvanizing the players in the online digital marketing business through schemes like e-Usahawan which teaches school children digital marketing skills to help them create sustainable livelihoods for themselves, especially those from the rural areas. HELP University is well placed to respond to these challenges. It organized a major international seminar on The Fourth Industrial Revolution involving digital innovators, e-entrepreneurs, leading CEOs and policy-makers.
A Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution has been set up to accelerate the upgrading and revamp of academic content and the digital transformation of administrative processes. To complement the government’s initiatives to teach and expose students to the importance of technology, the Faculty of Computing and Digital Technology has been conducting technology workshops for school students and teachers to address the pressing need for technology education and to enable them to keep pace with the rapidly changing computing industry.The Faculty has also been granted the digital maker hub status by the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to be part of the initiative to transform the youths of Malaysia from digital users to digital producers in the digital economy.