South Africa’s foray into the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Let’s learn to walk before we try to fly

South Africa’s foray into the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Let’s learn to walk before we try to fly

As noted from the article:

Grave concerns: most notably that automation and AI threaten to disrupt the labour market, as machines become capable of doing people’s jobs. Indeed, if left unmanaged, 4IR could dramatically increase inequality, whereby the riches flow to the owners of capital and technology while the poor become even poorer as they lose their jobs to machines. If that happens, there is a real risk of increased social unrest and societal implosion.

Infrastructure, and skills development:

First, infrastructure: in order to master 4IR, South Africa must first get a good grip on the second and third industrial revolutions.

The 4IR relies critically not only on a stable electricity supply, but also on universal internet connectivity.*** (See EMFSA’s post of the 21st of March 2019):

 

5G Requires a Stable Electricity Supply

Daily Maverick: Only 15% of households have fixed broadband and around half of the population have smartphones or mobile data access, according to reports by ICASA and the ITU. It is widely expected that advanced IoT applications will rely on 5G mobile telecoms infrastructure.

Skills development:

Proponents of 4IR advocate for coding to be added to the national curriculum. This is all well and good, but pointless if students cannot even do basic sums.

It is therefore imperative to fix the basic education system – ensuring that teachers are qualified and schools possess the tools and infrastructure to support a significant improvement in the standard of maths and science. *** (See EMFSA’s post of the 24th of June 2019):

Who Will Benefit? South Africa, 4IR, Smart Cities, 5G (For Some?)