Few_elements of 4 IR

A time travel to 2025: “Wake up–Wake up”–sounds your smart alarm on 9 March; Smart room says, “Good Morning”–entering your bathroom–lights on by itself–shower is just hot enough–breakfast arrives hot and fresh on time–you are going out–your smart car greets you, “Best wishes for Engadin ski marathon.”–If in Alps. Or, it may update you on daylight saving time–If in US. And a lot more smart digital technologies at your service. It is how I see life after Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”–Albert Einstein

Likewise, 4IR is nebulous as technology breakthroughs are frequent, but with smart technologies converging and internet giving an unprecedented push, I can say there will be tides of changes and nations that surf them well will flourish.

To define:

It’s a transformation that will witness thronging of smart technologies having artificial decision making abilities and a foresight into future and complete automation of production systems with huge individual customization of products, yet economical and efficient.Everything will change from the way we see economics to the way Governments should work. Affordable simple technologies will also aid in Social entrepreneurship.

Industrial revolutions & their one word definition as follows:

  • 1st–Mechanization
  • 2nd–Electrification
  • 3rd–Optimization
  • 4th–Customization

Everybody is looking for customized products. From choosing the color of car to the kind of topping on ice–cream to the shape of pizza(futuristic). Companies (Google, Apple, etc…) already collect data from customers to give personalized offers and results.

To me:

In the sidelines, I expect 4IR to aid revitalizing our environment.

But, predominantly, 4IR will change the definition of human labor. New jobs (more creative, less stressed) will replace existing ones (repetitive, low–skilled, menial). Blue–collars will be gone. Grey collar may be the then new blue.

Both how and where things are produced will change. With gaps between manufacturing and services closing, customers may produce their own products using the factory facilities or the company may crank out billions of customized products.

The companies that give outstanding performance with generous customization will rule the market.

Technologies like 3D–printing indicate that production will be simplistic and universal to tailor all needs. With active virtual markets round the clock; all round the world, buyer at South Pole will easily print designs from a seller at North Pole.

The factories, homes and surroundings will be rich in sensors and actuators. ‘Internet of things’ (IoT) will make possible such super stack environments. E.g. Street–view of Google, Germany’s Industry4.0 project, an integration of “cyber–physical systems(CPS)” into factory processes.

Things like Russia’s triple decker war–room indicate that wars in future may happen inside rooms that control robotic ammunition(saves lives).

Also, we will have:

  1. Innovative solutions to social problems and threats.
  2. Improved Living standards with smart technologies (like smart–cities smart–phone, smart–car, smart–digital–assistant, smart–home and assisted living). Everything around you will look smart unless you turn smarter.
  3. With advanced diagnostic, operative and preventive methods, Public health & life expectancy will see progress.
  4. Energy conservation, Farming lands with automated & mechanized solutions, emissionless transport, improved tourism and environmental protection are some byproducts.

Managing risks:

With IoT, Digitalization, CPS, Sensors and Cloud–computing come threats of unauthorized use, insider attacks and invasion of privacy. Google’s Street–view without people’s appropriate permissions and Facebook’s Beacon controversy give the precedence. However, it’s not entirely bad considering purposes like tracking someone who had been kidnapped. These issues can be regulated from perspectives of majority, if not all principle stakeholder groups, to establish trust and confidence.

Governments in developing countries may find it harder to simultaneously prevent industries from moving Productions abroad, back the technology research and build on new technologies and innovations.

As a solution, Governments can make fair rules and a level–playing–field for all kinds of business (small to large; productions to services) and revamp education systems to nurture workforce for undiscovered jobs of future.

Also, we may have as many environmental problems as technologies, unless nations come together to fix the damages we have made so far. Steps like COP21/CMP11–Paris can be frequent to be conscious on nature.

Further, social life and harmony can be at risk with proliferating technologies, not to mention the risk of crimes that these technologies come with. Simply, there can be fear in the society created by science. So, either we programme humanity into these technologies or create only humanity endorsing technologies at best.

For threat of loss of privacy and insider attack on servers, heterogeneous handling of data by multiple intercontrolling organization structures can be a solution where security and trust can be decentralized.

Though ethics and privacy can be an issue to a confused user who is concerned on giving out information, better security protocols can increase the acceptance of the service and the trust on it.

For a business, this trust will be a mainstay to go a long way in retaining customers. Businesses can count on the value pricing for this trust.

To make a sustainable planet Earth, I also see 4IR as an opportunity, so far as possible, to conserve nature.

We keep making life simpler, easier and longer. Ultimately, Man can have any worldly–wise facilities with least dependency on nature. Man will do only those things that only he can do.

After all, We never stop making categorical improvements to take superiority over nature as and when proved otherwise.

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