OECD: Fourth Industrial Revolution ‘exciting’ but has downsides

Face of the future: The humanoid robot Sophia was granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia, the first robot in the world to be given nationality. (Getty Images)
Updated 12 February 2019

OECD: Fourth Industrial Revolution ‘exciting’ but has downsides

  • Challenge is how to empower half of the workforce that will be displaced
  • National leaders urged to broaden their horizons and make appropriate decisions to create a better future

DUBAI: The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) will be exciting and full of promise, but carries downsides, Jose Angel Gurria, the secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, said on Monday.

In a discussion with CNN’s Becky Anderson at the World Government Summit (WGS) in Dubai, Gurria said: “The danger is not just about knowing the technology that is growing at breakneck speed, but how you empower half of the workforce that will be displaced.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution will carry with it many promises and challenges in employing technology and how to use it. Half of the workforce is going to be disrupted by technology, due to over- or under-qualification. How can we motivate and upskill those that will be displaced in the process?”

Gurria focused on the need for countries to realize the effects on labor forces and on generations yet to enter the world of work.

He also urged national leaders to “broaden their horizons and make appropriate decisions in order to create a better future.”

 

Intellectual property in the 4IR

Intellectual property governance policies promote innovation and creativity, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s director general, Francis Gurry.

“Effective intellectual property systems ensure that ideas are transformed into products and services that are beneficial to people,” Gurry said. “Through intellectual property, we ensure that good ideas are translated into economic products, balance of interests and competitiveness.”

In 2018 alone, 2.5 million patent applications were filed worldwide, which, Gurry said, explained the need for stricter protection laws.

China and the US lead the world in terms of patent numbers, followed by Japan.

“We have a large number of patents on artificial intelligence, so this sequence must be protected,” Gurry added. “We expect significant changes in the distribution of capacity around the world as a result of the development of artificial intelligence in robots.”

 

Mobility in the 4IR

Artificial intelligence (AI) and nanotechnologies are among the UAE’s key priorities during the 4IR, according to Mattar Mohamed Al-Tayer, Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) general manager.

“The importance of artificial intelligence in the transportation sector lies in three objectives: supporting the management of major events, forecasting traffic, and monitoring and dealing with accidents,” Al-Tayer said during a session at the WGS on “The Future of Mobility in the Age of 4IR.”

He highlighted the accomplishments the RTA has made over the years, turning Dubai into one of the world’s most efficient cities when it comes to mobility and transportation.

“In Dubai, we organized with international transport companies, such as Uber and others, to provide intelligent services to community members.

“The transport sector in Dubai is moving over a million people, and this figure makes us aware of the importance of establishing a solid infrastructure that enhances transportation,” he said.

 


Oil recoups losses as OPEC, US Fed see robust economy

Updated 14 November 2019

Oil recoups losses as OPEC, US Fed see robust economy

  • US-China trade deal will help remove ‘dark cloud’ over oil, says Barkindo

LONDON: Oil prices reversed early losses on Wednesday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said it saw no signs of global recession and rival US shale oil production could grow by much less than expected in 2020.

Also supporting prices were comments by US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who said the US economy would see a “sustained expansion” with the full impact of recent interest rate cuts still to be felt.

Brent crude futures stood roughly flat at around $62 per barrel by 1450 GMT, having fallen by over 1 percent earlier in the day. US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $56 per barrel, up 20 cents or 0.4 percent.

“The baseline outlook remains favorable,” Powell said.

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said global economic fundamentals remained strong and that he was still confident that the US and China would reach a trade deal.

“It will almost remove that dark cloud that had engulfed the global economy,” Barkindo said, adding it was too early to discuss the output policy of OPEC’s December meeting.

HIGHLIGHT

  • US oil production likely to grow by just 0.3-0.4 million barrels per day next year — or less than half of previous expectations.
  • The prospects for ‘US crude exports had turned bleak after shipping rates jumped last month.’

He also said some US companies were now saying US oil production would grow by just 0.3-0.4 million barrels per day next year — or less than half of previous expectations — reducing the risk of an oil glut next year.

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday Washington and Beijing were close to finalizing a trade deal, but he fell short of providing a date or venue for the signing ceremony.

“The expectations of an inventory build in the US and uncertainty over the OPEC+ strategy on output cuts and US/China trade deal are weighing on oil prices,” said analysts at ING, including the head of commodity strategy Warren Patterson.

In the US, crude oil inventories were forecast to have risen for a third straight week last week, while refined products inventories likely declined, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.

ANZ analysts said the prospects for US crude exports had turned bleak after shipping rates jumped last month.