Repudiating the Fourth Industrial Revolution Discourse: A New Episteme of Technological Progress
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4th IR) is a techno-infused discourse around which high-level discussions of the future have come to revolve. The vision depicted by the 4th IR is one of exponential technological change and convergence, a scene in which disruptive discoveries and their implementation occur simultaneously across the physical, digital and biological spheres. This article examines the development of the 4th IR and assesses the neoliberal logic behind it. Through a discourse analysis of high-level national and intergovernmental strategies, it exposes the business-orientated lean of the 4th IR and draws attention to the inherent focus on the adaptability of business over society in coping with technological change. An ontology of interdependency and an ethics of care is advanced to reimagine technological progress and counter the supremacy of business interest within discussions concerning the future of the human species.
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