Although industry 4.0 is still a relatively new concept, many experts are already announcing a fifth industrial revolution that will bring about a new paradigm of cooperation and interaction between humans and machines. This is one of the main conclusions of the conference on industry 5.0 organised by the Consultative Commission on Industrial Change (CCMI) of the European Economic and Social Committee on 22 November.
According to Francisco Jaime Quesado, a specialist in innovation and competition, the key word will be "coopetition", a mix of competition and cooperation between humans and robots that will be the hallmark of this new era. In the same vein, Martin Ciupa, chief intelligence officer at Mindmaze, stated that mankind will have to find a new role for itself: "It will be a challenge, but it doesn't have to be negative: robots for robotic jobs, humans for human jobs".
Other speakers also mentioned the social and ethical risks of this new industrial revolution, but the general consensus was that industry 5.0 is a good opportunity, as long as ethical issues are taken into consideration. Ian Cronin, project lead at the World Economic Forum, insisted on the role played by governments in the evaluation of the social impact and stated that "Europe is instrumental in giving industry 5.0 a human touch".
Lucie Studničná, President of the CCMI, closed the conference by calling for a new social contract in order to tackle the risk of increased inequalities: "There will be winners and losers, but we have to make sure that we get everyone on board to reduce the negative impact". (dgf)