We are on the verge of the fourth industrial revolution, industry 4.0 – a vision that has grabbed the attention of labour market researchers, economists, sociologists and practitioners from various industries. It remains a vision because there is still very little scientifically based knowledge on this pervasive topic. As part of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein’s Zukunft im Turm discussion series, leading German economic and industrial sociologist Professor Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen spoke about potential scenarios and how we can go about addressing them.
Professor Hirsch-Kreinsen held the Chair of Economic and Industrial Sociology at TU Dortmund University until early 2015, and is currently director of the Düsseldorf-based Research Institute for Societal Development (FGW).
“Low-skilled jobs and simple, repetitive tasks – from logistics and machine operation to manual data capture and data entry – are being widely replaced by intelligent systems. But it is impossible to estimate the extent to which this is happening.”