The section Fourth Industrial Revolution welcomes papers exploring the overlap of blockchain technologies with other technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) internet of things (IoT) and virtual reality amongst others, and aims to explore the exciting possibilities and potential harms of these technologies.
Blockchain technologies sit amongst a cluster of fast-moving technologies that are said to comprise the Fourth Industrial Revolution. These technologies include artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D printing, robotics and others. As with earlier industrial revolutions, some predict a radical reshaping of our human practices and relationships as these technologies are integrated into our societies. The Fourth Industrial Revolution “is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres” (Klaus Schwab, World Economic Forum).
All together these new technologies can bring invaluable benefits to our societies and lead us to new welfare levels. However, it is often the nature of emerging and disruptive technologies to bring also new sources of risks. Therefore, it is mandatory to engage in a long-term visionary thinking about the potential benefits and harms the Fourth Industrial Revolution may generate if we are to maintain human agency and values in the world we create.
To this end, this section welcomes papers exploring the overlap of blockchain technologies with other emerging technologies. Emerging technology fields that have been highlighted as having high potential include: artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D printing, smart energy, robotics, quantum technologies and wearables.
However, as it is often in the nature of an emerging technology, its potential is not immediately fully uncovered. Thus, we keep this section deliberately broad and open, and we encourage submissions that make a case for novel and disruptive innovation where also blockchain plays an important role.
Furthermore, the section welcomes visionary papers exploring the techno, socio-economic and legal-political consequences and possibilities of these emerging technologies, from local, national, regional, and global perspectives. We welcome contributions from across a broad remit of disciplines either from basic or applied science.
What will these technologies do for us and to us? How should we govern them responsibly and ethically while maximizing their benefits? How is this industrial revolution similar to or different from other innovation or industrial revolutions? Are there mistakes from the past we can avoid? Is this exponential technological growth leading us towards a technological singularity? What are the implications for the human being and the society at large?
As knowledge development in this area is not confined to the academic world, we welcome work from academics, industry participants, policy makers, regulators, and other relevant players. In addition, these technologies and our use of them cut across academic disciplines, so we welcome papers from all relevant disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary perspectives.
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Fourth Industrial Revolution welcomes submissions of the following article types: Code, Correction, Data Report, General Commentary, Hypothesis and Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Policy Brief, Review, Specialty Grand Challenge and Technology Report.
All manuscripts must be submitted directly to the section Fourth Industrial Revolution, where they are peer-reviewed by the Associate and Review Editors of the specialty section.
Articles published in the section Fourth Industrial Revolution will benefit from the Frontiers impact and tiering system after online publication. Authors of published original research with the highest impact, as judged democratically by the readers, will be invited by the Chief Editor to write a Frontiers Focused Review - a tier-climbing article. This is referred to as "democratic tiering". The author selection is based on article impact analytics of original research published in all Frontiers specialty journals and sections. Focused Reviews are centered on the original discovery, place it into a broader context, and aim to address the wider community across all of Blockchain.
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