The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge, and Society offers an annual award for newly published research or thinking that has been recognized to be outstanding by members of the Technology, Knowledge & Society Research Network.
Since the First Industrial Revolution, societies have entrusted their lives and wellbeing to professional organizations; social institutions that exercise control over the use of specific bodies of knowledge. These institutions are granted privileges based on the benefit to society this knowledge brings. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) contests the role of these professions in society. Using the quantity surveying profession as an example, this article highlights the threats and opportunities 4IR presents to professions and how this may have an impact on their relevance in society. This article is based on a literature review that specifically interrogates the role of professions in society and explores how their role has evolved. The study evaluates how those technologies associated with 4IR (such as artificial intelligence [AI], robotics, the Internet of Things [IoT], 3D-printing, blockchain, nanotechnology, etc.) will have a direct impact on the existing legitimacy and practices of the quantity surveying profession. The article will focus specifically on the opportunities and threats posed by AI in South Africa, particularly the existential threat to the concept of professional judgement, and AI’s challenge to the status quo of quantity surveying and its role in society. General opinion regarding AI is that it is capable of performing professional tasks far quicker and at a much higher quality than those for whom this was previously regarded as their purview—highly trained and educated professionals. In some quarters, AI is regarded as an enhancer to humans, while in others it is regarded as a substitute for humans. What remains unknown is the extent to which AI is likely to cause disruptions within these professions.
Christopher Alex Hooton and Davin Kaing, The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge, and Society, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp. 1-25.
Shannon Jackson, The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge, and Society, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp. 27-40.
Peter DePietro, Journal of Technologies in Society Volume 12, Issue 2, pp. 21-30.
Martine Lagacé, Houssein Charmarkeh, Joelle Laplante, Annick Tanguay, Journal of Technologies and Human Usability , Volume 11, Issue 4, pp. 1-13.
Andrea D. Isogai, Dr. Daniel D. McCarthy, Jim D. Karagatzides, Skye Vandenberg, Holly Gardner, Vicky Edwards, Dr. Don Cowan, and Dr. Leonard J. S. Tsuji, The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge, and Society, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp.131-142