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GOVERNOR

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Sounding the Alarm on the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”

In 2019, Natalie Gochnour, who holds leadership positions at both the University of Utah and the Salt Lake Chamber, penned a Deseret News op-ed in favor of Utah leading the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The 4IR is a concept she defines as “the fusion of technologies between the physical, digital and biological spheres.” It encompasses everything from biotechnology to the internet of things to artificial intelligence. 4IR is based on connectivity, data collection, and a merging of humans and machines, also known as trans-humanism. Smart and 15-minute cities, digital ID, and all manner of surveillance feature prominently, all in the name of convenience and sustainability.

The major thought leader of the concept is none other than Klaus Schwab of World Economic Forum fame, with support from various United Nations entities. In Utah, Governor Cox has stated his goal to lead the nation in smart cities and even for Utah to become the first smart state. The Utah.gov website has an entire section on the “Digital State,” which describes an alarming number of programs with smart sensors to monitor and collect data on everything from traffic flows and public transportation to water use and climate change monitoring to smart buildings. The page also links directly to Envision Utah, an advocacy group that includes prominent politicians including former governors, key media and business leaders, and church leaders on its board. Gochnour is a board member.

The group seeks to influence policy in everything from water to education to smart cities. It also led the visioning process for The Point, Utah’s own smart and 15-minute city, currently under development.

It is clear Governor Cox, along with a litany of other influential Utah elites, is pushing forward full steam ahead on the 4IR. Accordingly, the Center for Digital Government recognized Utah as one of six states earning an “A” grade in its most recent survey. While some of these programs may be convenient, the concerns are plentiful, as even Gochnour outlines in her op-ed.

Privacy, for example, is nonexistent under the digital surveillance state, and the slippery slope to social credit score-based access is short, to name just two. While technological growth is inevitable, as your governor, Utah will never be the “cradle” of any WEF-sponsored revolutions.

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Phil Lyman