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The fourth industrial revolution (4IR) is a phenomenon that has emerged only recently, and yet, is already creating huge disruptions in the way we work and live. It is characterized by the unprecedented rate of creation of new technologies; and is occurring across the globe at different speeds. Advance Automation, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and Machine Learning are some new fields unknown to us only a few years ago yet are currently making big waves and breakthroughs. Many of these remarkable advancements are expected to improve both our productivity and our quality of life. However, the emergence of new technologies tends to have both positive and negative impacts on the economy and on society. While automation is expected to dramatically boost labor productivity and cut business costs, it carries significant socioeconomic risk, particularly in terms of short- and medium-term employment as tasks previously done by humans can now be performed by machines at greater efficiency. The rapid adoption of new technologies, development of new platforms, and rise of new business models may require equally rapid innovation and institutional reforms in the public sector.
The primary purpose of this forum is to share the results of our study on the ‘Transformation of Work in Asia-Pacific in the 21st Century’, and to engage in high-level discussions on its policy implications for developing countries like the Philippines on education, competition policy, and business regulation.