Humans advanced with each industrial revolution the first one from 1760 to 1840 being the invention of steam power, the use of water power and mechanization of manufacturing.
Then came the second one from 1850 to 1970 which focused on mass production, assembly lines and the use of electricity. The main products of the second industrial revolution were steel, chemicals, electricity and petroleum.
Then came the third Industrial Revolution in 1960s focusing on computer, electronic, IT systems and automation.
But what’s next….
We are at the dawn of the fourth Industrial revolution based on cyber physical systems.
The term fourth Industrial revolution was coined by the founder of the World Economic Forum a former professor Klaus Schwab. He wrote a book with that title too describing the same as an era marked by a technological revolution ‘that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres’.
Technologies like artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles or the Internet of Things are becoming ingrained in our day to lives, and even our bodies. Voice activated virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana or face ID recognition or healthcare sensors like smart watch.
3D printing is also an example. Today, we can have a hip replacement from a 3D-printed bone or use a 3D printed bionic arm. Are not the lines between humans and technology being blurred?
Issues related to the fourth Industrial Revolution
Organizations are embracing new technologies to make their business more efficient like the steam Engine in the first Industrial Revolution. But some companies, and governments, are struggling to keep up with the fast pace of technological change. Who benefits the most are the innovators, investors and the shareholder.
The major issue and risk of THE INDUSTRY 4.0 is making the inequality worse.
Experts are warning us about “Winner-takes-all” economy where high skill workers takes all the money or high pay and the rest of the workers are left out.
AI in the future will eliminate some jobs and create demand for new skills which many workers don’t have.
Another problem with the fourth Industrial revolution is the privacy issues. Big companies like Facebook and Google are collecting a lot of personal data of the users.
As the famous saying by Uncle Ben in the Spiderman movie goes “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”. We need to adapt to the technologies of the fourth Industrial Revolution and work on its issues rather than not adapting to it.
As we all know those who don’t change become obsolete and die like dinosaurs or company like Nokia.
With the tech changing fast every day – it’s time to catch up.