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‘Education, Skills and Work in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ webinar

Professor Phillip Brown considers what is ‘revolutionary’ about today’s developments in digital innovation in the ‘Education, Skills and Work in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ webinar, organized by Leeds University Business School Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change on 27 January 2022.

Download and watch this webinar here

It is widely believed that digital disruption is transforming all aspects of the economy and society. This disruption is seen to be driven by advances across interdisciplinary fields leading to technological breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, additive manufacturing, synthetic biology, smart materials, etc. Media reports of these advances have highlighted the prospect of mass technological unemployment resulting from workplace automation. But such concerns have been a feature of all previous industrial revolutions. So what is so significant or ‘revolutionary’ about today’s developments in digital innovation? This talk will consider different interpretations of the fourth industrial revolution and the role of digital technologies in (re)shaping the future of work, education, and labour markets. It will present a theory of ‘job scarcity’ rather than ‘labour scarcity’, which does not signal the end of work, but the need for a fundamental reassessment of current public policy.