Minister for Digital, Matt Hancock, addresses the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s (4IR) Autumn reception.
One of the roles of Parliament is to cast ahead, to look to the horizon, and tackle the great challenges of our time.
So I applaud the creation of the APPG on the fourth industrial revolution, which surely is one of the greatest challenges we face, as a nation, and as a world.
The nature of the technologies is materially different to what has come before. In the past, we’ve thought of consumption as a one-off, and capital investment as additive. Yet put resources into the networks that now connect half the world, or into AI, and the effects are exponential.
The reason is that the cost of storing and transmitting information has fallen, perhaps faster than at any time since the invention of the printing press. That time it transformed the world, democratised knowledge, and brought down the whole feudal system of Government. This time it’s just got started.