Deconstructing the fourth industrial revolution: defining the concept and research agenda
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The idea that we are in a Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is premised on the observation that technological change is accelerating, that technologies are converging, and because of the velocity, scope and impact of these changes we have entered a new technological era. The term was first used in 2016 by the World Economic Forum (WEF) executive chairman, Prof. Klaus Schwab. According to Schwab, the first industrial revolution used steam power to mechanise production, the second used electric power to create mass production, and the third used electronics and information technology to automate production. The 4IR is building on the latter.