As the great and the good gather in Davos, Deutsche Bank has joined the World Economic Forum's Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a project dedicated to "maximising the benefits and minimising the risks" of emerging technology. The German bank joins BBVA, Sberbank and tech giants such as Accenture and Microsoft as a partner for the centre, which was set up last year in an effort to develop policy frameworks and build collaboration to help shape the world's tech-driven future.
Last year at Davos, the WEF warned that up to 7.1 million jobs will be wiped out in 15 major economies during the fourth industrial revolution, as disruptive developments in artificial intelligence and machine-learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, and genetics and biotechnology come to the fore.
This prompted the establishment of the centre, based in San Francisco, to bring together business leaders, governments, start-ups, civil society, academia and international organisations to co-design and pilot new approaches to governance for these emerging technologies.
This year, the centre is expanding, with affiliates sprouting in India, Japan, and the UAE, and new partners, including Deutsche Bank, coming onboard to help ensure governance around the likes of DLT is "stable, interoperable, predictable and transparent".
Deutsche says that there are compelling reasons to join the group as it looks to adapt its models and market approach to take advantage of new tech "safely, securely and with no adverse societal effects".
In September, chief executive John Cryan warned that he expects a "big number" of his current staff to be replaced by robots. Another bank, OCBC, is already reporting astonishing productivity gains following the introduction of robotic process automation to handle number crunching tasks in its secured lending and sales reporting units.
Kim Hammonds, Group COO, Deutsche Bank, says: "Emerging technologies are already transforming our industry and banks are on a journey to becoming platform companies. Being involved in the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution will position us to drive and influence the rules and standards that govern this exciting space."