The technology revolution that is about to happen will drastically change the way we live, work, and interact with one another. The shift will be unlike anything humans have ever encountered in terms of magnitude, scope, and intricacy. While the exact course of its development is yet unknown, one thing is certain: the world's political actors—from the public and corporate sectors to academia and civil society—must work together to develop an integrated and comprehensive response.
Three factors—velocity, scope, and systems impact—make today's changes more than just a continuation of the Third Industrial Revolution; they herald the beginning of a Fourth, new one. There is no precedent in the past for the speed of modern advances. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is developing exponentially rather than linearly when compared to earlier ones. Additionally, it is upending virtually every industry in every nation. Additionally, the magnitude and complexity of these changes portend a complete overhaul of the management, governance, and production processes.
What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
An industrial revolution is fundamentally characterized by technological advancements that people use to enhance the production process. In actuality, though, it represents much more. The world's first three industrial revolutions introduced electricity, digitalization, steam power, and waterpower. Every industrial revolution brings with it fine-tuning changes to social, economic, political, and environmental structures that genuinely change the path of human history. Some of these changes are anticipated, while others are wholly unanticipated.
A fourth industrial revolution is currently taking place. Across all industries, this Fourth Industrial Revolution is bringing technologies that converge the physical, digital, and biological domains. Artificial intelligence (AI), nanotechnology, quantum computing, synthetic biology, and robots are just a few of the technologies that will vastly outpace any digital advancements made in the previous 60 years and give rise to realities that previously seemed unfathomable. The business models of every industry will be disrupted and changed by such significant facts.
The Key Areas Covered Under the Fourth Industrial Revolution
A few areas that the fourth industrial revolution would be covering and gravely impacting are:
The four production components of land, labor, capital and entrepreneurship are what drive economic expansion. Only 52% of the world's entrepreneurial potential is now being used, and this percentage is getting lower every year. Large, well-established businesses, which are better able to adapt to technological advances than smaller businesses, will have a considerable edge in the future of work. This, however, is not a strategy for achieving lasting, sustained economic success. The globe needs to concentrate on assisting independent business owners because small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) currently power the majority of global economies.
Advancements in AI, robots, 3D printing, and the internet of things will put a lot of pressure on businesses to automate to remain competitive in a global landscape for the majority of global industries (such as logistics, finance, manufacturing, aerospace, etc.). Companies will need to understand how these technologies affect their respective industries and how to ensure organizational agility to adapt to these changes in order to succeed in this. Cost pressure will intensify due to increased global competition, which will result in significant workforce reductions or reassignments.
Education and Training
The opportunity to obtain employment training is vital to economic progress. Naturally, the educational landscape is undergoing tectonic shifts. Shorter, more skill-based training that is more applicable to the industry today is more appealing to students than a stagnant curriculum. Employers must make sure their staff members receive the appropriate training to close these skills gaps if they are to fulfil their organizational goals, remain competitive, and be adaptable. Naturally, workers must develop new abilities "on demand" to keep up with their shifting duties and responsibilities.
The values of society will keep evolving due to technology. Freelancers now make up more than 36% of the American workforce for a variety of benefits, such as independence, flexibility and additional money. Co-working facilities are extremely popular and frequently have waiting lists before even opening. Thanks to technology, people may now work from anywhere at any time. More than half of American jobs will be independent contractors by 2027.
How Bright Does the Future Look for the Industrial Revolution?
It all comes down to people and values in the end. We need to prioritize and empower people to create a future that benefits us all. The Fourth Industrial Revolution may indeed have the ability to "robotize" humanity and rob us of our hearts and soul in its most pessimistic, dehumanized form. But in addition to the best qualities of human nature—creativity, empathy, and stewardship—it has the power to elevate people into a new level of moral consciousness that is founded on a feeling of shared destiny. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that the latter prevails.