Monday, 24 September 2018
It's not just digitalisation
I've now learned that we're in the 4th Industrial Revolution, a term coined by Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, and that this isn't just about "phygital" - it's about the fusion of technologies blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres aka cyber-physical systems. Some of those technologies are robotics, AI, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, the Internet of Things and 5th generation (5G) wireless technology.
For the record, here is the series of Industrial Revolutions:
1st Industrial Revolution: in the 18th/19th century, when rural moved to industrial and urban, powered by steam
2nd Industrial Revolution: 1870 - 1914, the age of mass-production, powered by electricity
3rd Industrial Revolution aka Digital Revolution: this started in the 1980s, it's about automation and the internet. We're still in the midst of it although we're now seeing the beginnings of the
4th Industrial Revolution aka Industry 4.0 which is about the embedding of technology into human beings and society
An interesting implication of this is found in the speech by Mark Carney entitled "The Future of Work". Thanks to Good Business for highlighting this in their super newsletter.
While previous industrial revolutions meant that machines will take on tasks previously done by human hands, today, tasks involving cognitive (head) work are increasingly being automated. Does this mean a resurgence in the importance of the human heart? One can only hope so.