Shweta Khurana, second from left, and Charles Ho speak at the 2017 Indonesia Economic Forum on Wednesday (22/11). (JG Photo/Amal Ganesha)

Experts Say Indonesia Is Not Yet Ready to Embrace 'Fourth Industrial Revolution'


NOVEMBER 23, 2017

Jakarta. Indonesia has a long way to go before the country can fully embrace the so-called "Fourth Industrial Revolution," panel members at the 2017 Indonesia Economic Forum said in Jakarta on Wednesday (22/11).

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the phenomenon in which digital technology is becoming embedded and transforming society, must be prepared for by developing human skills to compete in the digital age, Shweta Khurana, head of corporate affairs at Intel Indonesia, said.

Artificially intelligent machines, robotics and other cloud-based technologies will not surpass human achievement, Shweta added.

"The highest paid job today is that of a mathematician, not a technologist," Shweta said. "So, computers won't beat us."

"Artificial intelligence is not new, it has been around for a while and it must not be feared. Instead, it does help our life," added Charles Ho, founder of Singapore-based startup consultancy Ace Round.

While digital startups are becoming more prolific across the world, Indonesia still lacks an entrepreneurial workforce that can truly take advantage of new technologies and ways of doing business, panelists said.

"We should start at school. We have to prepare our children with relevant entrepreneurial skills such as thinking critically, out of the box and risk taking ability," Shweta said.

"In Indonesia, those skills are still evolving and are rarely seen at schools.

"In Sweden, where the average age of entrepreneurs is 19, access to affordable computers and high-speed internet is provided for to support youth conducting business. This sort of infrastructure is actually very important to the Fourth Industrial Revolution," she said.