A 4.0 Day…

It was 7:00 am on the 1st of January 2020. I was awakened by my alarm’s strident sound. I pulled out reluctantly from bed, with faint memories of the previous day’s New Year party at mum’s house. As I eased myself in the E-toilet, I got a report on my smart phone that my alcohol level was too high and that I needed to drink at least 2 liters of water and consume fresh carrots and eggs that morning to counter the effects of alcohol.

As soon as I stepped into the kitchen, I got a message on my phone saying that my hens had laid 3 eggs in the night and the carrots in garden were ready to be eaten. It was great to have a smart house with chips in almost everything, from hens in mini-barns to the door handles in the house. I rushed out, harvested the carrots and took the eggs. I didn’t border to water the carrots because the automatic watering system could water the ground in a smart manner and thus help me reduce water usage. I put the carrots and eggs into my All Cooker and it sliced the carrots, broke the eggs and within 2 minutes, I had a hot plate of carrot-scrambled eggs as they are usually made in Lagos. However, I received another bip from the cooker stating “It took 35 extra seconds to prepare the eggs and carrots. Please, manually clean the internal part of the machine to remove excess grease. The auto-clean option has malfunctioned. Thanks.” I cleaned it manually and then went to eat my carrot-scrambled eggs.

Looking at my watch, it was already 07:45 am and I had to be at work at 8:00 am! I dressed up, rushed out to my self-driving car, but it refused to start. The electric batteries were fully charged but there was a message “system error” on the driving board. I pressed the button auto-repair and ran to the bus stop two blocks away. I took a self-driving bus and by 08:15 am, I was at the job place.

After getting screamed-at by my boss for arriving late, I ran to my workshop. I felt lucky to have a job, as the whole economy had been invaded by robots. Our haute couture design firm had survived only because we adapted to the 4.0 industrial revolution by enabling our customers to design their dresses themselves through an app on their smart phones. Each customer could create his own dresses and all we did in the factory was execute the customer’s designs and add our expert touch. I had to share my workspace with Didi, our humanoid robot. He mimicked all my actions and slowly learned how to become an expert designer himself (itself?). I was scared that Didi would soon kick me out of the job when his training would be over, but my bosses are happy because Didi would eventually lead to a tremendous increase in the firm’s output.

By 2:30 pm, I took my break to have a live chat with my son studying at CUIB, an Entrepreneurial University in Cameroon. I also logged on to his University’s site to view his notes and performance in tests. I followed him up closely because my dream was for him to become a great lawyer, since I knew that it would take a long time before robots would replace our lawyers and judges.

Suddenly, I got a strident sound from my smart phone. I looked at it and the message showed that someone had broken into my house. I rushed home but it was too late, the thief was gone. Looking into my camera’s video bands I saw nothing. The thieves had hacked my home IT system and stolen some valuable jewelry. Luckily, I had put an additional security system that prevented them from taking the old bottles of wine from my safe.

Tired and angry, I got a cool old beer and sat down on my sofa. As I drank it, I thought of how simple life was before the cyber physical systems made life so complicated…