The fourth industrial revolution and the new expatriations

Will we someday get to expatriate robots? The recent case of Sophia, the humanoid robot with Artificial Intelligence developed by the company Hanson Robotics in Hong Kong, to which the Saudi government officially granted the nationality of that country in 2017, is very well known.

In this way, Sophia became the first non-human citizen in history and as a result of that a series of doubts related to her rights and obligations were born. Could Sophia get married, vote, or even run for presidency? Should Sophia be taxed in Saudi Arabia, or in Hong Kong? Will she need to process visas like any other Saudi citizen? Could she go to jail for any crime she may commit? Is she totally responsible for her actions? Some even point out that Sophia is a robot that has more rights than the women in Saudi Arabia.

Was this a purely Marketing action or was the Saudi government really aware of the implications that would entail? This will still be to be seen, what is clear is that we are facing an absolute revolution that is transforming all our social, cultural and mental aspects.

To define what the Fourth Industrial Revolution consists of, it is worth mentioning the most important aspects of the previous three. Between the years 1760 and 1840 the first transformations began, the invention of the steam engines in Great Britain extended around the world and totally changed the development of the industries.

Between the years 1850 and 1914, the Second Industrial Revolution emerged, the main innovations were the massive production of steel and the new energy generated from oil, electricity, and in a context of world war, great inventions such as the automobile, the airplane and the phone.

The third revolution took a little longer to arrive, in the mid-twentieth century came the arrival of the Internet and Information and Communication Technologies, mobile telephony and the era of globalization.

During all the previous eras, great social, economic, technological and cultural transformations have arisen, accompanied by uncertainty and science fiction ideas that frightened the most skeptical. But the human being is adaptable and evolves constantly, we are not the same as 20 years ago, the new generations demand new economic, social, communication and educational models.

Nowadays we live in that futuristic paradigm that the old movies contemplated, with the arrival of artificial intelligence, robotics, biotechnology, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, renewable energies, block chains, big data and virtual reality. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0, is characterized by a wide variety of technologies that fuse the physical world, the digital world and the biological world. The combining effect of technologies, immediacy, scope and impact on global systems is the phenomenon that has driven this revolution.

Returning to our initial question, will we someday get to expatriate robots? The reality is that all industries around the world are being transformed, it is very likely that in many sectors machines will replace several jobs, but at the moment it is not contemplated that robots can stand on their own, rather it will be necessary a collaboration and complementation between humans and robots. This implies that some current jobs disappear, but many new ones will emerge, some even that we do not yet know. The reality is that inside our heads there is the most complex material of the whole universe, emotions, rational judgment, intuition, reasoning, empathy and creativity, and that (for now) no machine is capable of replacing it.

Companies in all sectors must take into account that for the expansion of their businesses they must implement talent recruitment trained to adapt to these trends and that they can add value to the professional context, this is what will really mark the course of the new expatriations.

By Ana Ochoa – Global Mobility Manager

Expat Advisors 

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