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Industry 5.0: Is the Manufacturing Industry on the Cusp of a New Revolution?

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It is widely accepted that the advent of robotics and automation in previous industrial revolutions brought about paradigm shifts in the manufacturing industry worldwide. It is therefore conceivable that the fifth industrial revolution will bring about a similar shift in norms and make fundamental changes in our approach to industry and manufacturing. From the first industrial revolution to the fourth, science and technological innovations, training and capital, were the key elements in evolving how products are conceived, designed and manufactured. Looking forward to the fifth industrial revolution it is likely that there will be a paradigm change in how industry will evolve given the tools of industry 4.0; the internet of things, digitization, blockchain, advanced materials, additive manufacture, artificial intelligence and robotics, drones, energy technology, biotechnology, neurotechnology and virtual and augmented reality.
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Industry 5.0: Is the Manufacturing Industry on the cusp
of a new revolution?
Mary Doyle Kenta.1, Peter Kopacek,2
a Department of Engineering Technology, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland.
b Department of Mechanical Engineering & Management, TUWien, Austria.
1MDKENT@WIT.IE. 2 KOPACEK@IHRT.TUWIEN.AC.AT. 3
Abstract It is widely accepted that the advent of robotics and automation in previous industrial revolutions brought
about paradigm shifts in the manufacturing industry worldwide. It is therefore conceivable that the fifth industrial
revolution will bring about a similar shift in norms and make fundamental changes in our approach to industry and
manufacturing. From the first industrial revolution to the fourth, science and technological innovations, training and
capital, were the key elements in evolving how products are conceived, designed and manufactured. Looking forward
to the fifth industrial revolution it is likely that there will be a paradigm change in how industry will evolve given the
tools of industry 4.0; the internet of things, digitisation, blockchain, advanced materials, additive manufacture, artificial
intelligence and robotics, drones, energy technology, biotechnology, neurotechnology and virtual and augmented reality
Keywords Technology, industrial revolution, robotics, social impact, industry 4.0, industry 5.0, engineering ethics.
I. INTRODUCTION
The fifth industrial revolution will bring challenges for humanity. The destruction of our environment, as well
as increasing income inequality, will become a worldwide crisis in the future. The few will possess most of the
world’s wealth and control. Automation will increasingly change the dynamics of the workforce. Work will be
classed into either ‘highly exposed to automation’, or ‘less exposed to automation’, with a view to introducing
robotics wherever possible. The new type of work created in an automated environment will require a highly
developed set of skills which will not be within the reach of most. Current online security techniques will become
outdated. International laws, regulation and governance will need to be reinvented to be agile and relevant to the
emerging challenges. The fifth industrial revolution has yet to materialise and is currently an exercise in predicting
what will come about, based on future technologies and trends. From the literature there are different
understandings and visions of post-industry 4.0. In this paper an outline of different theories is put forward. These
opinions and theories have been gathered from very different viewpoints and sources.
II. LOOKING BACK
To understand the effect of radical changes on industry let us look back at previous industrial revolutions that
have taken place throughout the world. Figure 1.0 shows, in chronological order, the sequence of industrial
revolutions that took place from the invention of steam powered machines to the present day. It projects forward
to the next industrial revolution, industry 5.0. It has been recorded that from the 1700’s, when steam power was
introduced, that the dynamics of manufacturing radically changed; how work was undertaken, how factories were
laid out, how human job descriptions changed and how this influenced the quality of life of the workers.
In the eighteen century the first industrial revolution changed manufacturing processes across Europe by the
introduction of mechanisation. This meant that previous hand production methods were replaced by machines
powered by steam and water. One of the impacts of the first industrial revolution was an unprecedented rise in
population growth. The standard of living began to improve, and life changed dramatically for the working classes.
It is widely accepted that the United Kingdom (UK) lead the way. What were the influencing factors in the UK
that optimised conditions to facilitate these changes? According to Allen in 2011 “the high real wage (also)
stimulated product innovation since it meant that Britain had a broader mass market for ‘luxury’ consumer goods
including imports from east Asia. The supply of technology was also augmented by the high real wage. It meant
that the population at large was better placed to buy education and training than their counterparts elsewhere in
the world. The resulting high rates of literacy and numeracy contributed to invention and innovation [1]
FIGURE 1.0. THE SEQUENCE OF INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTIONS THROUGHOUT THE AGES.
In the 1870’s the introduction of electricity and the roll-out of electrification in the 1880’s led to the second
industrial revolution. Ian McNeil in his book An Encyclopaedia of the History of Technology shares the different
stages of technological advancement by citing the developments in technology over the centuries. McNeil states
that the development of the incandescent light bulb both by TA Edison in the USA and JW Swan in England made
public lighting a reality. Ferranti’s Deptford power station went into operation in 1889 and he says that electricity
was born at this time. This invention has been the biggest transformation of our daily lives, bringing convenience,
comfort, transport and wellbeing. [2]
Manufacturing plants evolved from being powered by steam and water to using electric power at this time. Electric
powered motors were much more efficient than the previously used steam, water and human power. Electric
motors from this era were around 30% efficient. Hydroelectric and chemical power were also invented at this stage
including chemical fuel from petroleum.
The introduction of automatic equipment into manufacturing companies became popular in the 1970 and 1980’s.
The first automated equipment was used for tasks that were challenging to humans such as welding, materials
handling and product assembly. In heavy manufacturing industries, such as steel and automobile manufacturing,
robotics played an important role as the working environment proved to be unfit for humans. In the 1980’s robots
became more sophisticated and less expensive. The result was that they were used for more routine types of work
across diverse processes.
In 1997 Jeremy Greenwood wrote an insightful book entitled The Third Industrial Revolution. Technology,
Productivity and Income Inequality. Here he looks at the effects of innovative technologies introduced into
industry over hundreds of years, and, more specifically, what were the knock-on effects of this new technology
both on the workforce and on the economy. He states, “this thesis (here) connects the rate of technological progress
to the level of income inequality and productivity growth”. He goes on to say “as new technologies are introduced,
workers are required to upskill and become proficient in the use of these technologies, or, new more highly skilled
employees are hired to do this work. As a result, these more highly skilled employees will earn more money and
often the productivity will fall initially as the workers become proficient. Large investments have been made in
terms of the technologies and the up skilling of the workers and there with be a time lapse before full potential is
reached. Greenwood states on page 2 that “the coincidence of rapid technological change, widening inequality,
and slowing productivity growth is not without precedence in economic history”.[3]
Professor Peter Kopacek, in 2018 describes industry 4.0 in his paper titled Development trends in Cost Oriented
Production Automation. He states that The industry 4.0 vision is not limited to automation of a single production
facility. It incorporates integration across core functions, from production, materials sourcing, supply chain, and
warehousing all the way to sale of the final product. This high level of integration and visibility across business
processes will enable greater operational efficiency, responsive manufacturing, and improved product design. [4]
first industial revolution - 1780s
- steam power
second industrial revolution -1870s
- electrification
third industrial revolution - 1970s
- automation
fourth industrial revolution - current
- digitalisation
fifth industrial revolution- future
- personalisation
He continues to explain how workers will be affected by the automation and technological advances by explaining
that work will change dramatically for the workers. He says that “real-time oriented control will transform work
content, work processes and the working environment. Industry 4.0 yields to dramatic changes like:
New skills and structures in the workforce.
More collaboration required across all functions within the company, with its customers, and with
its suppliers (especially tool vendors and IT).
Need for advanced cyber security increasing exponentially.
Investment requirements increasing.
Klaus Schwab in his book The Fourth Industrial Revolution explains that the fourth industrial revolution extends
and transforms digital technologies. They are connected to one another and this connection allows the digital
technologies and capabilities to expand. Information storage, processing and communication are the vital elements.
The fourth industrial revolution technologies disrupt creating new value sources, and the new digital technologies
will be the ‘usual’ going forward. (P20-21). The digital networks facilitate the movement and manufacture of
physical products by knowledge transfer. Digital products can be reproduced at very low costs. In the third
industrial revolution physical systems disappeared into the digital, for example digital recording of music, and, in
the fourth the digital is remerging into the physical, for example, 3d printing. [5]
In summary industry 4.0 already greatly impacts factory workers, they will need to upskill to futureproof
themselves to remain useful for their employers.
III. LOOKING FORWARD
Automation and robotics excel in the manufacture of standardised products using standard manufacturing
processes in high volumes to an excellent quality standard. When creativity or customisation is expected the human
being is key. The solution is the collaboration of robots and the humans. Traditional robots cannot work side by
side with humans but collaborative robots or cobots” are designed to work in sync with human employees. The
robot prepares the product in a rigorous manner, meeting specification requirements to a high standard, and the
human then takes over to add the finishing touches to the product. Kopacek states that “in order to perform
collaborative tasks cobots are designed to be safe around humans (using sensors, force limiting and rounder
geometries than traditional robots), to be lightweight (for them to be moved from task to task) and to be easy to
implement and use without skills in programming. Above all, a collaborative robot is not a replacement robot; it
assists workers rather than replaces them.” [4]
In 2018 Deloitte wrote a piece entitled The skills gap in US manufacturing 2015-2025 outlook’ and stressed
that humans need to be put back into the loop but to do this, new and differently skilled employees, are required
to fill new job specifications. In summary they noted that the skills gap is outlined in the following themes;
Putting humans in the loop
Expanding digital and “soft” skills
Leveraging the digital toolbox. [6]
According to Accenture, industry 5.0 is where each actual product to be manufactured will be based on the
individual customer needs. The final product will be designed for the individual based on their personal
requirements, otherwise known as personalisation’. The product will be manufactured in an agile manner, taking
the digital requirements and using radical new manufacturing techniques and materials. These products, in some
cases can be an extension of the human mind or body which will require new radical ethical protocols and
governance to be put in place. It is predicted that the products manufactured by fifth industrial revolution will
bring new technologies to the mass population. This means manufacturing will not be just agile and lean, but
automated, digital and data driven. Products will be of extremely high quality and available at more affordable
prices. These products must be the best available and the supply chain optimised to support manufacturing.
FIGURE 2.0 PRODUCT MANUFACTURING REINVENTED. [7]
Phill Cartwright, executive chairman of the Centre for Modelling & Simulation, looks forward to the fifth
industrial revolution. He predicts the roles humans will play in an automated manufacturing environment in an
online article from Raconteur.net. Moving from industry 4.0 to industry 5.0, will lead to the creation of higher-
value jobs than ever before. The reason for this is that the freedom of design and the associated responsibility is
handed back to the human designer/engineer. Cartwright consistent with a recent study from Meggitt explains that
“the workspace doesn’t become smaller in terms of a manufacturing cell around the human being; it actually
becomes bigger. The human being has more responsibility and you end up with a bigger, lighter environment that’s
safer than the previous environment. The manufacturing operative within the manufacturing cell starts to become
more involved in the design process rather than the manufacturing process, which is more, or less, automated. It
allows freedom of design to work with you and it enables products that are more bespoke and personal.” [7] This
theory is illustrated in Figure 2.0. It shows the strong relationship between the engaged consumer, the empowered
workforce and the hyper compressed manufacturing processes.
Korcomptenz are a technology company stating that they provide a competitive advantage for their customers with
innovative technology solutions by addressing business challenges and driving growth. They explain that industry
is “currently still in the midst of industry 4.0, where manufacturing has become "smart" through the development
of AI, the Cloud, the Internet of Things, and other such systems. The basic principle behind the fourth industrial
revolution was that through linking machines and other intelligent devices, manufacturers could create smart
networks throughout the value chain (from materials to production) that could control each other.” [8]
According to Korcomptenz industry 5.0 is rapidly approaching and it will bring with it an increased human touch
back to manufacturing. It is thought that “where industry 4.0 put smart technology at the forefront of
manufacturing, 5.0 will encourage increased collaboration between humans and smart systems.” Bringing the high
speed, optimised automation together in a meaningful way with the cognitive, critical thinking of the human being
in industry 5.0 will mean human and machine will work together in a revolutionary manner to solve problems of
the future and produce personalised products of high value.
There are also questions raised about how humans will fare with the technological advances. Martin Ford, in a
publication called “The rise of the Robots. Technology and the Threat of Mass Unemployment”, portrays a more
negative viewpoint of the impact of industry 5.0.
Ford explains that in the 1980s and 1990s the evolution of work landscape required the workforce to become more
information technology (IT) literate. The 1990s saw the tech bubble and creation of millions of new jobs, especially
in IT sector. Wages increased with this new type of work but fell short of productivity gains. Recession was
followed by jobless recovery as workers, many from the mid-salary range, failed to find employment.
In 2000-plus IT continued its acceleration and productivity rose; businesses took full advantage of all new
innovations. Many good jobs disappeared as corporations offshored, automated and outsourced using cloud
computing. Throughout the developed world computers and machines were increasingly replacing workers rather
than making them more valuable. The share of national income going into labour declined. The jobs market
continued to polarize. Joblessness became the norm. [9]
It was noted that factors contributing to the “disruptive economics” include; IT, globalization, politics and growth
of financial sector.
Looking into the future Ford predicts that IT will continue to evolve at an alarming rate. Coupled with the IT
changes many more jobs will be pulled into automation and robotics. Low wage jobs will be replaced with self-
service automated technologies and increasingly intelligent algorithms will threaten higher skilled work.
Ford cited researchers Frey & Osbourne from the University of Oxford who predict that over the next 20 years
approximately 47% of US jobs will be vulnerable to automation. This, in turn, will have a knock-on effect of
reducing customer spending which could, in turn, result in a secondary wave of job losses affecting all occupations.
Referencing Figure 3.0 below, which was part of the World Bank Group Flagship Report released in 2019 titled
“The changing face of work”, it is noted that the citizens of the European Union believe that technology is a
positive element in the workplace. Two thirds believe that technology will benefit society and quality of life.
FIGURE 3.0 A SURVEY INDICATING THAT TECHNOLOGY IS IMPROVING THE EUROPEAN ECONOMY, SOCIETY AND
QUALITY OF LIFE. THE SOURCE IS WDR 2019 TEAM, BASED ON SPECIAL EUROBARMETER 460 “ATTITUDES TOWARDS
THE IMPACT OF DIGITIZATION AND AUTOMATION ON DAILY LIFE” QUESTION 1, EUROPEAN COMMISSION, 2017. [10]
“Despite this optimism, concerns about the future remain. People living in advanced economies are anxious about
the sweeping impact of technology on employment. They hold a view that rising inequality, compounded by the
advent of the gig economy (organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements), is
encouraging a race to the bottom in working conditions.” So, what factors can help improve working conditions?
Investing in human capital is the priority to make the most of this evolving economic opportunity. Three types of
skills are increasingly important in labour markets: advanced cognitive skills such as complex problem-solving,
socio-behavioural skills such as teamwork, and skill combinations that are predictive of adaptability such as
reasoning and self-efficacy. Building these skills requires strong human capital foundations and lifelong
learning.” The report continues “at the economywide level, human capital is positively correlated with the overall
level of adoption of advanced technologies. Firms with a higher share of educated workers do better at innovating.
Individuals with stronger human capital reap higher economic returns from new technologies. By contrast, when
technological disruptions are met with inadequate human capital, the existing social order may be undermined.
[10]
Karl Schwab in his book concludes that human wellbeing and development can continue on a positive upward
trend. Previous industrial revolutions have enriched and progressed the human race and that we need to solve the
negative aspects of technological evolution for the common good. These include environmental damage and
growing wage inequality. He states “involving all relevant stake holder groups will help us overcome the core
challenges ahead distributing the benefits of technological disruptions, containing the inevitable externalities and
ensuring that emerging technologies empower, rather than determine, all of us human beings. Finding solutions
for governance challenges of the fourth (and fifth) industrial revolution will require governments, businesses and
individuals to make the right strategic decisions about how to develop and deploy new technologies” [5]
IV. QUESTIONS RAISED
The literature review in the previous section has outlined how the next industrial revolution will fundamentally
evolve the manufacturing industry worldwide given the tools of industry 4.0 and future requirements of the
customer, worker and the environment. At this moment in time there is no consensus on what this new industry
will look like but there is consensus that there will be a change to the current norms, a paradigm shift driven by
digital. It also raises many questions and the following Figure 4.0 summarises seven key areas that will need to be
addressed. If these are not addressed, then the result may be a negative force for humanity going forward.
FIGURE 4.0 QUESTIONS RAISED FROM THE LITERATURE REVIEWED
Education and Skills
How to ensure that humans have a place in the highly automated workplace of the future optimizing human capital?
Can the traditional education provider supply these skills?
Working Environment
How can the work of the employee become more interesting and fulfilling into the future?
Can the workspace of the employee be safe and comfortable with the new technologies surrounding them?
Relationship between Productivity and Wages
How can the rise of inequality be addressed in the workplace?
How can wages keep in line with productivity into the future?
Ensuring the Best Technologies are used without making Humans redundant
How can we ensure humans are not made redundant in this new environmet?
How can optimised decisions be made to ensure the newest and optimised technologies are used in manufacturing?
Optimum Product Characteristics
The customer demands optimised quality, cost and delivery and how can this be ensured in an agile and connected
factory?
How can the customer be guarenteed product that is personalised and eco friendly?
Protection of the Environment
Is the factory woring in a sustainable manner meeting environmental targets set out for them?
How can the company contineously make inprovement to its environmental footprint?
Goverence and Ethics
How do we ensure that governance on new and future technologies will meet the requirements of an equitable society?
Can moral & ethical standards be part of engineering education and working careers ensuring moral resplonsibilty in
future decision making?
V. CONCLUSIONS
This paper has looks at the history of manufacturing worldwide from the invention of steam and water powered
machines to the current digital economy. The fifth industrial revolution will bring about a similar shift in norms
and require fundamental changes in our approach to industry and manufacturing, as well as to the environment
which is declining at an ever-increasing rate.
There is no definite vision now as to what the next industrial revolution will bring in terms of technology, but,
it is envisaged that the workforce of today will be very different to the workforce of the future generations.
Governments will have to invest in human capital to make the workers of the future relevant and useful in the
industries of the future. Governance and ethics will be increasingly important so that the correct decisions for
mankind will be made.
A number of key areas and questions were highlighted in the previous section. These can be the start of a ‘think
tank’ for future technologists, scientists, industrialists, engineers and politicians, all of whom will have to work
together if the world is to have a sustainable and healthy future.
VI. REFERENCES
[1] Allen, R.C., 2011. Why the industrial revolution was British: commerce, induced invention, and the scientific revolution 1. The
Economic History Review, 64(2), pp.357-384.
[2] McNeil, I. ed., 2002. An encyclopaedia of the history of technology. Routledge.
[3] Greenwood, J., 1997. The third industrial revolution: Technology, productivity, and income inequality (No. 435). American Enterprise
Institute.
[4] Kopacek, P., 2018. Development Trends in Cost Oriented Production Automation. IFAC-PapersOnLine, 51(30), pp.39-43.
[5] Schwab, K. and Davis, N., 2018. Shaping the future of the fourth industrial revolution. Currency.
[6] Deloitte (2018) ‘The skills gap in US manufacturing 2015-2025 outlook’, Available at:
http://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/manufacturing/articles/boiling-point-the-skills-gap-in-us-manufacturing.html (Accessed 25 June 2019)
[7] Accenture (2019) ‘Accenture-Industry-X0-POV-RGB’ [Online]. Available at: https://www.accenture.com/_acnmedia/PDF-
63/Accenture-Industry-X0-POV-RGB.pdf (Accessed 20 June 2019)
[8] Korcomptenz (2019) ‘Korcomptenz.com’ [online] Available at: https://www.korcomptenz.com/blog/industry-5-0 (Accessed 20 June
2019)
[9] Ford, M., 2015. Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. Basic Books.
[10] Worldbank (2019) ‘The Changing Nature of Work’ Available at
http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/816281518818814423/pdf/2019-WDR-Report.pdf (Accessed 03.July 2019)
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The pandemic of the coronavirus known as COVID-19 has spread rapidly across the globe. This is not just a medical crisis; rather, it is a business crisis as well. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to present a research scale that could be used to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on business. The authors adopted a scale variables approach that is generated from topics covered in the papers of leading academic business journals to form the basis of our analysis. The scale was used to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 on businesses in two countries, namely Serbia and Kuwait, to represent two different continents. The results of this research indicate that the influence of this coronavirus is equally devastating in both countries Kuwait with its otherwise good economic conditions and Serbia with relatively poor ones. The findings of the research are beneficial for both academics in producing quality output papers, as well as their support to managers in various business industries in their fight against coronavirus to keep their businesses sustainable.
Conference Paper
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The cultural wealth of our people represents a very important potential for the development of both the service sector and the entire Serbian economy through the presentation of the original cultural heritage and products derived from it. However, how can we use this huge intellectual capital that we all have and turn it into a value that will provide jobs, a better standard of living and economic growth and development of Serbia? The aim of this paper is to answer this question and it refers not only to the economic justification of projects from our cultural heritage, but also to the preservation and protection of cultural wealth, as well as sustainable cultural development. After the general introduction to the concept and classification of cultural heritage as well as the most important characteristics of cultural heritage in Serbia, the definition of the intellectual capital of cultural heritage follows and the presentation of the model of intellectual capital of cultural heritage by Bratian and Beženar. After that, through the intellectual capital of service activities and its definition and structure, the key creators of the value of intellectual capital in Serbian service companies are presented. The problem of the negative impact of globalization on the preservation and protection of cultural heritage is also addressed, as well as the possibility of preserving and presenting cultural heritage thanks to digitalization. Finally, we herewith present the treatment of one of the most important issues of cultural heritage, and that is the issue of intellectual property, as well as the issue of geographical indications of products, which is perhaps the most important development potential of Serbian companies when it comes to cultural heritage.
Book
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing everything - from the way we relate to each other, to the work we do, the way our economies work, and what it means to be human. We cannot let the brave new world that technology is currently creating simply emerge. All of us need to help shape the future we want to live in. But what do we need to know and do to achieve this? In Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Klaus Schwab and Nicholas Davis explore how people from all backgrounds and sectors can influence the way that technology transforms our world. Drawing on contributions by more than 200 of the world's leading technology, economic and sociological experts to present a practical guide for citizens, business leaders, social influencers and policy-makers this book outlines the most important dynamics of the technology revolution, highlights important stakeholders that are often overlooked in our discussion of the latest scientific breakthroughs, and explores 12 different technology areas central to the future of humanity. Emerging technologies are not predetermined forces out of our control, nor are they simple tools with known impacts and consequences. The exciting capabilities provided by artificial intelligence, distributed ledger systems and cryptocurrencies, advanced materials and biotechnologies are already transforming society. The actions we take today - and those we don't - will quickly become embedded in ever-more powerful technologies that surround us and will, very soon, become an integral part of us. By connecting the dots across a range of often-misunderstood technologies, and by exploring the practical steps that individuals, businesses and governments can take, Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution helps equip readers to shape a truly desirable future at a time of great uncertainty and change.
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The field of manufacturing automation is one of the fastest growing in technology not only because of the rapid developments of IT hard- and software as well as micro-, nano- and femto-technologies for the development of new materials. Therefore in production automation we have the new headlines new materials, smart products, smart factories, Internet of things (IoT), production 4.0. This requires Multi Robot Systems or Multi Agent Systems (MAS) consisting of cooperative industrial, mobile and probably in the future humanoid intelligent robots acting as a team for solving common tasks. In addition they have to be cooperative. The tasks of the robots must perform the mechanism of cooperation and the system performance. Production 4.0 requires the replacement of the Central Control Computer by a distributed, networked Computer System. From the side of Automation in this paper the latest trends in manufacturing automation will be presented. Concerning the problems of SME's to introduce Production 4.0 first ideas on “Cost Oriented Production 4.0 - Production 4.5” will be discussed. From the side of TECIS both disciplines will raise some new social and ethical questions related to humans.
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Britain had a unique wage and price structure in the eighteenth century, and that structure is a key to explaining the inventions of the industrial revolution. British wages were very high by international standards, and energy was very cheap. This configuration led British firms to invent technologies that substituted capital and energy for labour. High wages also increased the supply of technology by enabling British people to acquire education and training. Britain's wage and price structure was the result of the country's success in international trade, and that owed much to mercantilism and imperialism. When technology was first invented, it was only profitable to use it in Britain, but eventually it was improved enough that it became cost-effective abroad. When the tipping point occurred, foreign countries adopted the technology in its most advanced form.
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Was 1974 a watershed? It was dawning of the information age, a period of rapid technological advance associated with the introduction of information technologies. It also was the start of a sharp rise in income inequality and signaled the beginning of the productivity slowdown. Were these phenomena related? Could they have been the result of an Industrial Revolution associated with the introduction of information technologies? The answer offered here is yes, and a simple theory connecting the phenomena is outlined. Evidence is presented showing that the coincidence of rapid technological change, widening inequality, and slowdowns in productivity growth are not with out precedence in economic history. Just as the steam engine shook 18th century England, and electricity rattled 19th century America, it is argued that information technologies are rocking the 20th century economy.
Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future
  • M Ford
Ford, M., 2015. Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. Basic Books.
Why the industrial revolution was British: commerce, induced invention, and the scientific revolution 1. The Economic History Review
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Allen, R.C., 2011. Why the industrial revolution was British: commerce, induced invention, and the scientific revolution 1. The Economic History Review, 64(2), pp.357-384.
The skills gap in US manufacturing 2015-2025 outlook
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Deloitte (2018) 'The skills gap in US manufacturing 2015-2025 outlook', Available at: http://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/manufacturing/articles/boiling-point-the-skills-gap-in-us-manufacturing.html (Accessed 25 June 2019)
Accenture-Industry-X0-POV-RGB
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Accenture (2019) 'Accenture-Industry-X0-POV-RGB' [Online]. Available at: https://www.accenture.com/_acnmedia/PDF-63/Accenture-Industry-X0-POV-RGB.pdf (Accessed 20 June 2019)
The Changing Nature of Work
  • Worldbank
Worldbank (2019) 'The Changing Nature of Work' Available at http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/816281518818814423/pdf/2019-WDR-Report.pdf (Accessed 03.July 2019)