The Fourth Industrial Revolution: What it Means and How to Respond
You have to live under the rock to miss the brand-new trends. Every day human beings are exposed to some influence. That influence can come from specific work conditions, family matters, or any external or even internal factors.
However, in modern society, various effects are responsible for creating the society as we know it today.
Actually, some external effects are so strong that the world leaders had to share their opinion on a specific matter.
This Revolution, according to his opinion and many others’ is like nothing that we meet before. He said:
“The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production.
Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital Revolution…It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.”
PERKS OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
Since this industrial Revolution is so unique and thrilling, it comes as no surprise that the world’s greatest leaders had issues recognizing its impact.
That being said, they had difficulties knowing the difference between exponential and linear effects.
The truth is that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has an exponential pace, opposite to a linear pace rather. Simply said, this Revolution changed the world and disrupted it in numerous ways.
Simply stated, if your grandparents are still alive, they are probably complaining about how kids nowadays are distant and technology-driven, instead of focusing on their jobs, right?
So, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is here. It’s here to stay, to change the world, and to confront the future. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about impact and change. The Revolution is all about challenging the status quo and the world as we know it.
In no time, this global change took a stand-in in front of both the government and the private sector. Although many are scared that the Revolution is so unique that it has the power to ‘robotize’ humans.
However, the truth is that this Revolution indeed has the potential to change some human jobs with robots or machines.
Still, at the same time, it has the power to enable creativity, empathy, and stewardship – all in it has the potential to lift humanity into a new realm of possibilities and skills.
First, let’s make a short introduction to see what industrial revolution really is and how humanity moved from the First Industrial Revolution to the Fourth one.
Moreover, to understand the benefits and downsides of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, understanding what the Industrial Revolution is and how it can affect human reality is a must.
Knowing what the Fourth Industrial Revolution really is and how it affects the world, can help people better understand their role in any change and understand what the benefits might be, for them.
To understand what industrial revolution really is and how it changes the world, you must understand how people move and how they evolve during the most significant changes within society.
INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: INTRODUCTION
Nothing says progress like modern history. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is known as the process of fast and robust change. Industrial Revolution is a long process that started as a handicraft economy. Today, the biggest characteristics of the Industrial Revolution are industry and machine manufacturing.
In general, the famous industrial revolution was a strong movement that started in the United Kingdom during the entire 18th century and easily effected the other parts of the world from there.
The term ‘Industrial Revolution’ was used by Arnold Toynbee, British economist (1852-1883), to better explain the growth in the United Kingdom from 1760 to 1840.
However, just before this famous Revolution took its unique course, the rest of the world was going in different directions: mostly handcrafts and agriculture.
Once the Fourth Industrial Revolution kicked in, the world made a fast change from agriculture and handcrafts to manufacturing that was heavily based on machines and machine production. Therefore, the factory system was ready to scale up.
At the time, machines challenged both the society at the time and the current economy, even then.
With machine use, the known world was changed overnight, and machines were ready to take on the planet in terms of economy, at least.
So, this new revolution leads the world to more efficient, productive, and enjoyable (faster) industries. Thus, in a short time, the automobile industry and many new industries were born.
On the other hand, the new world of social change was born. New Revolution globally affected the wealth and distributed it. This was a rather exciting and fun way to involve the middle class.
Also, this industrial revolution (the Fourth one) affected the system so strongly it included people of all gender, ages, and professions.
Moreover, long working hours and capital wages followed by life-threatening work became a reality.
These horrible conditions gave rise to famous trade union movements that were born in the mid-19th century.
The most significant inventions of the Industrial Revolution included everything from the steam engine to automobiles.
Famous Henry Ford, was so passionate about making people’s life easier that he actually perfected mass automobile production at the beginning of the previous century, the 20th century.
All in, the Fourth Industrial Revolution managed to bring numerous changes to different areas, including:
- known energy sources
- labor area
- communication field
In general, technological changes were massive and made use of natural resources liable t mass production, which eventually led to overuse of natural resources a strong climate impact. Additionally, the workers exhibited a sharp skill-improvement.
People went from handcrafting and working exclusively with hand tools to machine operators, managing and operating with machines, and later on even with machine programs.
Of course, there was also a robust psychological change: people got this strong confidence in the liability to use resources and to master everything that nature had to offer.
WHAT DID IT BRING TO SOCIETY
Here we are… Living in the core of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, witnessing the very best and worst of it.
Industry 4.0 at its finest, unfolding before our eyes. This is the only Revolution deeply rooted in a new technological phenomenon – digitalization.
Instead of emerging into the original form of energy, this Revolution used the very best that technology had to offer and build upon that.
This Revolution opened the door to new worlds – a virtual world that brought new possibilities. The Fourth Industrial Revolution stands for a series of political, social, economic, and cultural changes that appear over the 21st century.
This Revolution will be driven by biological, digital, and physical innovations. Furthermore, this Revolution is all about co-existing with technology.
Moreover, this Revolution will changes industries, individuals, and institutions rapidly. With new technologies and the use of machines, new forms are made, including:
- 3-D printing
- genome editing
- artificial intelligence
- Robotics, and
- augmented reality
All together, ways how people learn are challenged and changed. Even now, as we speak, the world is changing.
Like no revolution before, this Revolution is highly guided by the choices that humans make today. It’s crucial to note that the Fourth Industrial Revolution emerges into a systematic change across numerous sectors and aspects of human life. Everything is disrupted.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is the time that we are living right now. Every trend, every tech-development, and everything around you is the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This Revolution is different from others. How?
With this Revolution, everything is about development – personal and technological.
Moreover, we are witnessing the use of robots for everyday tasks, use of artificial intelligence for numerous tasks and data development, while at the same time homes are becoming connected via IoT, otherwise known as the Internet of Things. Moreover, we can experience different worlds, thanks to virtual reality.
These factors are definitely changing the way we work and, above all, live on a daily level.
Also, the Fourth Industrial Revolution stands as a fundamental change in terms of life and work. So far, this Revolution is a lot about change in daily tasks.
Some would go so far of saying that this massive Revolution is actually a new chapter in human development.
Still, one is for sure: this Revolution is really pushing the world leaders, economists, scientists, and beyond to re-think the development and to even think hard on what does it means to be alive and human.
To understand this technology-driven wave, you must look beyond technology.
However, to do that, you must understand what supports this industry is and how specific pillars are used to enhance intellectual capacity and improve the world.
THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: PILLARS
The best way to understand what the Fourth Industrial Revolution really is and what are its benefits, you need to understand better its part. Moreover, you have to understand technology.
Like any previous revolution, the Forth one is set on specific pillars that enable the human potential, and overall global development. These pillars are:
- Artificial intelligence (AI): stands for machines that can learn and can be engaged in the learning process.
- Blockchain: offers decentralized data and various transfers that can work independently.
- Virtual reality (VR): exploring a new world is possible today with VR. Even business is using this technology to drive their sales, such as L’Oreal for its makeup app.
- Robotics: enables the use of robots for everyday tasks, including safety, health, manufacturing, and even much-needed human assistance.
- 3D printing: this is a simple and effective use of a machine to improve something by building ultra-small parts.
- The Internet of Things (IoT): offers full automatization of home.
With the Fourth Industrial Revolution standing for opportunities and challenges, it is essential to use its perks to serve everyone.
Businesses are creating social disruption and innovation while playing a significant role in ensuring that every customer’s needs and every need of all stakeholders are met.
THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
Similar to revolutions prior, the Fourth Industrial Revolution a real potential to awake massive changes in the world.
Moreover, according to many the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the first industrial revolution with a rather unique potential – to affect and raise income on a global scale.
Moreover, this Revolution can significantly challenge the way people live and provide new and better solutions for everyday tasks. All in, better solutions can lead to better life quality.
To those who embraced new technology and new solutions, the digital world enabled new services and new products that actually increased the pleasure and efficiency of personal lives. It has never been easier or faster to:
- get a private vehicle
- schedule an appointment
- pay your bills
- listen to music on-demand
- have a smart home
- play any type of game on-demand
The majority of everyday tasks now can be done from the safety of someone’s home.
Ordering online and living and working remotely is a trademark of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Next, everything related to the supply chain is dependent on technology and can be controlled remotely.
Overall, productivity and efficiency are higher. On the other hand, transportation and communication are cheaper, and in the near future, their price will drop even more.
The famous costs for trade will disappear, and overall a new markets will be open and drive strong and healthy economic growth.
Identically, the experts are pointing out how this fast and technology-driven Revolution brought a stronger gap within the society. Huge differences between people can create huge inequality.
Next, this Revolution heavily disrupted labor markets.
Machines took over in one area – production line. A few decades ago machines did some amount of work. However, we have a fully automated process now, and machines are over workers.
On the other hand, now workers can profit in terms of safe jobs and net increase.
Still, it’s not possible to honestly foresee some things, such as just how much will this Revolution change the world.
However, one is certain – strong organizational knowledge will enable humans to witness a new era. An era where numerous things and styles will be mixed.
Easily, someone’s talent can be the next currency or at least the main factor when it comes to good production.
Moreover, the job market can quickly come to the point where “low-skill/low-pay” and “high-skill/high-pay” segments. These segments can lead to strange and too dangerous social tensions.
The economy is a constant concern in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Like never before, the distance, or gap, between the wealthy ones and those depending on capital versus labor, has never been so distant, and this is because of the fast technology development and innovations that come with that development.
Moreover, technology and fast development are one of the crucial reasons why incomes have stagnated/decreased in the last years, especially in developed countries. Simply said, with each passing day the demand for workers is increasing.
Moreover, the demand for specific workers is in demand. Workers who are excellent in data analytics, machine learning, and programming are much needed.
Naturally, this huge gap in work labor creates new challenges. The outcome? The outcome is a job market with a demanding low and high need, with a huge empty space in the middle.
With this in mind, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that the world is really going through a transition and massive change.
Today, workers are scared for their own future and they don’t see any steady wave in their lives.
Moreover, people are well-aware that they are living from today to tomorrow.
There is no security, and with technology on the rise, people are really fearful about their own destiny. It is as if they don’t have a choice.
Modern economy undoubtedly comes with a rather unique approach: a winner-takes-all.
Also, the everyday use of social platforms is creating more significant discontent.
To connect, people are using social media. The use of social media enables humans to connect with each other, engage, share various information, and moreover, learn and develop.
In a perfect world, these interactions would lead to a rewarding opportunity that could eventually lead to great cross-cultural understanding and different unions.
THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AND PRIVATE SECTOR
The Fourth Industrial Revolution has a massive impact on the private sector and various businesses. Everything nowadays is about technology or its technology-driven.
Simply said, everything is made to disrupt something. No one can deny that technology has a massive impact on the private sector and business today, overall.
After all, businesses are those that are responsible for creating new solutions, discovering new markets, and creating different values for its customers.
Companies are also disrupting the world as we know, thanks to being fast and over-the-night tech development. With social media, growing transparency, and active consumer engagement, new patterns of consumer behavior are created every day.
Now, businesses are running their operations remotely and on-demand m while the economy is defined as a ‘shared economy’.
So, these approaches and enabling the use of fresh platforms, that eventually create fresh and unique ways of consuming services and goods.
Also, they strongly (technology-driven platforms) lower the barriers specifically for individuals and businesses to create wealth.
All in, the Fourth Industrial Revolution comes with four strong effects on business:
- on various and realistic customer expectations
- on global innovation, that can be easily defined as collaborative innovation
- on various product enhancement
- on organizational forms
So, what can be the main objective of the economy globally?
The answer is a rather simple one – customers. Everything is about customers.
Businesses want better products so customers will love them and they want customers to be loyal. No business can have loyal customers without great value.
THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AND PUBLIC SECTOR
The private sector may have more freedom to test new technologies and new solutions. Still, it doesn’t mean that the public sector is not blessed enough to experience the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
As the digital world becomes stronger and bigger, new platforms together with new technologies are actually supporting everyday people and potential customers’ desire to engage with government and interact with solving different problems.
Moreover, the government will, with time, gain fresh digital powers to increase their power overpopulations and hear more comfortable public opinion.
After all, the government can’t survive if they can’t evolve, transform, and embrace the new world of technology.
Governments must accept disruptive change and create a challenging and competitive edge.
That’s the best way to last, or they won’t last. This is especially true in the field of regulation.
It’s expected that, over time, strong advances in technology will eventually create the potential to lower the impact of violence like never before.
REACTION TO THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
In the end, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has an enormous impact on people.
It’s already affecting everyone’s recognition and every issue related to it:
- impression of privacy
- need to get things instantly
- consumption patterns
- how we work and how long
- develops our skills
- changes our health
This list is endless because it affects every area of life. It’s safe to say that this list is endless because our imagination only limits it.
Privacy is one of the biggest challenged in the era of the new Revolution because people want to be connected with others, and they love to share, but they would still love to have a good part of privacy. This is always something that people have to deal with.
On the other hand, people have experienced life and its benefits like never before, and they are connected globally in a way that our ancestors couldn’t predict, not even for a million years.
THE FUTURE AND HOW TO RESPOND
Paradoxically, everything comes down to free will. By definition, free will is the ability to choose between various courses of action.
The firm use of free means that nothing and no one can actually affect human control. That’s the main idea of free will – to be free, and independent.
Humans are responsible for their path and development.
Therefore, everyone is responsible for its evolution and making daily decisions. To do this, a global view, shared, and comprehensive view must be created.
Everything and always is linked with people. People are those with the ultimate power to change things. Moreover, people are those who can live based on their values.
After all, that’s what separated humans from animals, the willingness to act and act freely.
Shaping the future in its own manners is the best way to respond to changes and challenges that are coming with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
This Revolution may have the huge potential to in a way ‘robotize’ nations.
Still, it’s not the final outcome, as long as people continuously educate themselves on various matters and use imagination, understanding, and protection to create a better environment and a new and better collectiveness, based on a shared sense of destiny.
Global leaders are continually pointing out how people must develop leadership skills in order to survive dramatic shifts.
In today’s constantly changing world, only those who are well-aware of changes can survive high-speed lines and get the most from it.
Therefore, education is the key to having a fruitful and calm life and a peaceful business experience.
Yet, it remains to see how the technology-driven world will develop in years to come and how it will affect the future and young generations.
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