I wonder how we survived those years of no social media, button phones and 2G telecommunication network. Technology has indeed evolved far beyond what our minds could ever imagine. We have successfully transited from the age of let’s connectivity into an age of high interconnectedness.
What comes to mind, when you hear the word revolution? Well, It could mean a forceful change of a particular order or an instance of revolving. While we are still immersed in the euphoria of the 3IR or Digital Revolution, the 4IR caught us unaware.
4IR invaded our space with unprecedented growth and development in science and technology. 4th industrial revolution birth an age of seamless automation, tremendous advancements in telecommunications, digitization (electronics and computers) and the invention of the Internet. Coupled with the discovery of nuclear energy, the emergence of technologies like artificial intelligence(AI), gene editing, robotics, Machine-to-machine communication (M2M), internet of things (IoT) and a mix of the physical, digital, and biological worlds.
How Did We Get Here?
The fourth Industrial Revolution was first an idea in the minds of a team of scientists developing a high-tech strategy for the German government not until Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF) made it go viral in 2015 in an article published by Foreign Affairs. In 2016, the WEF entitled the theme of her annual meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution” which resulted in the opening of the Fourth Industrial Revolution centre in San Francisco
in October of the same year. The 4IR aims to improve communication and connectivity with the integration of emerging technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, 3D printing, 5G wireless technologies, the internet of things, the industrial internet of things, decentralized consensus, and fully autonomous vehicles.
Implications Of 4th Industrial Revolution
One of the pronounced implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is increased human productivity. With the integration of technologies like AI and automation into our daily lives, we will not only live improved lives but with the ability to make smart choices, and work more effectively and efficiently than ever before.
The implication of the 4IR in Agriculture will be the for instance the engagement of AI-powered machine vision systems that can monitor crop growth, and detect weeds, plant pests, and robotic sprayers which can precisely apply herbicides to exterminate them. Bioengineered or genetically modified Organisms lead to greater crop/livestock yields.
Robotics technology and AI technology in the healthcare industry will help to minimise fatalities due to human errors and as well augment human effort in optimal healthcare delivery. Precision medicine will help doctors to analyze a patient’s genome sequence, medical history, and lifestyle. Such information, coupled with demographic data from groups of people with similar conditions and the latest research, doctors will be able to create treatments and prevention therapies unique to an individuals.
According to recent reports by Mckinsey Global Institute, nearly one-fifth of the global human workforce will be replaced due to the adoption of AI and automation, especially in developed nations like the US, Germany and the UK. It is predicted that by 2022, 50% of automation of companies will decrease the number of full-time staff and by 2030, robots will replace 800 million workers across the world. The truth remains that most jobs will become automated, creating more unemployment than we can ever envisage.
Some Applications Of The Fourth Industrial Revolution
1. Big analytics and advanced processes
Multilevel customer interaction and customer profiling
2. Augmented reality, Mixed reality/ wearables
4. Advanced human-machine interfaces
5. Authentication and fraud detection
6. Mobile devices: smaller screen sizes coupled with automation and IA (Intelligence Amplification) that will help us do a lot of tasks with a single tap or a voice command.
7. Internet of things (IoT) platforms
3. Location detection technologies (electronic identification).
8. On-demand availability of computer system resources
9. Data visualization and triggered “live” training.
Challenges Of The 4th Industrial Revolution
The challenges deviling the 4th industrial revolution are just as replete as the gains portend. These challenges range from high economic costs, Privacy concerns
Surveillance and distrust, a threat to means of livelihood Loss to automatic processes and IT-controlled processes,
Lack of regulation, data insecurity
Lack of adequate skill-sets to expedite the transition towards a fourth industrial revolution, Insufficient qualification for employment and many more.
As I conclude, the 4th industrial revolution will change the world forever.
“These transformations, if managed wisely, could lead to a new age of good work, good jobs and improved quality of life for all, but if managed poorly, pose the risk of widening skills gaps, greater inequality and broader polarization.” – World Economic Forum, 2018 Report
I implore everyone to brace up for the impact it will have on our social, economic and environmental structures. The 4th world revolution will create a platform for the Web3 and Metaverse to flourish seamlessly.