Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

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The Centre is co-designing and piloting policy frameworks and governance protocols across six areas of focus.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

The impacts of artificial intelligence can already be seen in our homes, across businesses and impacting our political processes. In its embodied form of robots, it will soon be driving our cars, stocking our warehouses and caring for the young and elderly. Rapid advances in machine learning hold the promise of solving some of the most pressing issues facing society, but also present challenges such as inscrutable “black box” algorithms, unethical use of data and potential job displacement. As rapid advances in machine learning increase the scope and scale of AI’s deployment, multistakeholder collaboration is required to optimize accountability, transparency, privacy and impartiality to create trust. Project areas include: decision-making tools for corporate boards, protocols for government use of AI and standards for AI targeted at children.

Read our latest White Paper here:
A Framework for Responsible Limits on Facial Recognition Use Case: Flow Management

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Internet of Things and Urban Transformation

There are more connected devices in the world today than there are humans. Commonly known as the Internet of Things (IoT), they come in infinite forms – from smart building technologies that monitor and manage energy usage, to connected vehicles that help anticipate and avoid potential collision. By 2020, the number of IoT devices is projected to exceed 20 billion, owing to continued technological advances and the plummeting costs of computing, storage and connectivity.

As IoT technologies continue to affect all aspects of daily life, and as intimately as being embedded in the human body, questions about data ownership, accuracy and privacy protection are taking on ever greater importance. Similarly, in an interconnected world where electric grids, public infrastructure, vehicles, homes and workplaces are capable of being accessed and controlled remotely, the vulnerability to cyber-attacks and the potential for these security breaches to cause serious harm are unprecedented.

Read our latest White Paper here:
Industrial Internet of Things: Safety and Security Protocol

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Blockchain and Digital Assets

Blockchain, a relatively nascent technology that enables the decentralized and secure storage and transfer of information, has already proven itself to be a powerful tracking and transaction tool. It can minimize friction, reduce corruption, increase trust and empower users. Revolutionary use cases are being explored in almost every sector, ranging from finance to energy to shipping and media. The challenge is to unlock this potential in a way that ensures inclusion, safety, interoperability and scale. This project will work to advance the principles of good governance to support the infrastructure underlying, and the applications built on, distributed ledger technology. Project areas include: digital identify and certification, supply chain integration, smart contracts, and currency and monetary systems.

Explore our latest Toolkit here:
Redesigning Trust: Blockchain Deployment Toolkit

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Data Policy

Data is the oxygen that fuels the fire of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. More data is being generated than ever before, with the global volume of data predicted to double between 2018 and 2022, and then double again between 2022 and 2025. The ever-growing deluge of data is driven by the rapidly expanding universe of connected devices via the internet of things (IoT) and by breakthroughs in autonomous vehicles, drone technology and the growing availability of genomic testing. That very data, in turn, is leveraged through machine learning to make AI possible and to power advances in precision medicine, diagnostics and predictive analytics used across industries.

As data is increasingly generated and collected globally, businesses require clearer and more practical data policies, while policy-makers need better tools to develop future-oriented and agile frameworks for data regulation that will allow for innovation, but protect individual privacy. The Data Policy project focuses on maximizing the humanitarian and beneficial uses of data while seeking to develop practical solutions using a multistakeholder approach to policy-making.

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Frontier Technologies

Tracking cutting-edge technologies that represent emergent innovations from research that have the potential to reshape our lives; these technologies have yet to reach commercial application, but represent substantial potential disruptions across various sectors. Engaging with entrepreneurs, futurists and academics to help anticipate which technologies will drive the most change in years to come.

Space, Communications and Aerial Technologies

Addressing the reality that from enabling ubiquitous connectivity through satellites to accelerating humanity’s journey to becoming an interplanetary species, technologies in the exosphere are already shifting the boundaries of the 4IR with real socio-economic impact and are in immediate need of collaborative engagement frameworks. Developing models that support the responsible acceleration of this ecosystem.

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