Davos 2016 UBS white paper on the Fourth Industrial Revolution

UBS has produced a white paper on the theme of this year's World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on January 20-23. The white paper is entitled Extreme automation and connectivity: The global, regional, and investment implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It outlines a brief history of the four industrial revolutions that have taken place since the late 18th century. It also explores the potential economic and investment consequences and likely regional winners and losers.

Davos 2016

Executive summary

The global economy is on the cusp of profound changes that are comparable in magnitude to the advent of the first industrial revolution, the development of assembly line production, or the invention of the micro-chip. Technological advances are permitting ever greater levels of automation. Meanwhile, the near universal ownership of smart devices in many parts of the world is leading to a degree of interconnectedness that was previously unimaginable. These developments, which we believe are part of a technology-driven Fourth Industrial Revolution, have significant implications for investors, the global economy and the relative competitiveness of developed and emerging nations.

Video on the white paper

UBS has produced an animated video on the white paper, defining the Fourth Industrial Revolution and outlining the economic, regional, and investment consequences. The video illustrates artificial intelligence's dominant role in this latest industrial revolution, as well as the challenges it poses to workers and businesses in certain regions and sectors. It also highlights investment opportunities in high-tech fields, including big data and blockchain.