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We are living in a digital age where the traditional boundaries between the physical and virtual spheres are becoming increasingly blurred. This has given rise to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is characterized by disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology and the Internet of Things. On World Standards Day, we highlight the crucial role of International Standards.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution affects almost every industry in every country as innovative cyber-physical systems evolve. The convergence of technologies holds immense opportunities, but also presents an array of ethical, economic and scientific challenges. The rapid pace of change has no historical precedent and society cannot help but question the issues related to long-term sustainability.

International Standards can help shape our future. Not only do standards support the development of tailor-made solutions for all industries, they are also the tools to spread best practices, knowledge and innovation globally. International Standards have always had a pivotal role in enabling the smooth adoption of technologies.

Video: World Standards Day 2018
Message from ISO Secretary-General Sergio Mujica on World Standards Day 2018.

In the same way that standards were crucial during the First Industrial Revolution, supporting the specialized mass production of manufactured goods, they will continue to play a critical role in this new era. Standards will ensure compatibility and interoperability around the globe, helping society to adopt technologies seamlessly as they emerge in the future.

That’s why today, 14 October, we dedicate World Standards Day to “International Standards and the Fourth Industrial Revolution”. Each year, under the banner of the World Standards Cooperation (WSC), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) joins ISO and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in celebrating the collaborative efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide who develop International Standards.

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