An in-depth analysis by Josef Kefas Sheehama
WINDHOEK, JAN 27 -The Fourth Industrial Revolution is nothing but innovation moving forward. This next chapter of evolution is most likely to be e driven by the convergence of digital, biological, and physical innovations. It stands to reason that the evolution of integrated processes and human machine interaction will stimulate data transmission between value chains.
Technological progress has created new concepts such as digitalization, Internet of Things (I.O.T.) which has resulted in Cyber Physical Systems gaining traction across primary industries such as manufacturing.
At this point in time it is not out of the ordinary to ponder about how the person of tomorrow, the security of the future and experiences of the future are correlated. It is inevitable that, for instance, as the Fourth Industry Revolution unfolds, computers are connected and communicate with one another to ultimately make decisions without human involvement.
A combination of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things and the Internet of Systems make 4IR possible. As a result of the support of smart machines that evolve as they get access to more data, the results mean a more efficient and productive end product.
Ultimately, the synergy created by these machines illustrates the sheer power and effectiveness that is accomplished by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
In essence, future jobs are intertwined with how machines will be able to comprehend what they need to. In reality, jobs of the future for a human workforce will play substitute to functions that machines are incapable of carrying out. It might be a premature assessment, yet it might also be worth mentioning, that anything that can be measured, is based on rules and quantifiable stands a chance to be automated.
While this is a double-edged sword that might mean positive and negative, it clearly has its positives via the automation of work.
The sheer dependence on emerging technology breakthroughs in several fields, including robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, the Internet of Things, the Industrial Internet of Things, decentralized consensus, fifth-generation wireless technologies (5G), additive manufacturing/3D printing and fully autonomous vehicles spell out an advancement for a generation.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution’s technologies, such as artificial intelligence, genome editing, augmented reality, robotics, and 3-D printing, are rapidly changing the way humans create, exchange, and distribute value. More importantly, this revolution will be guided by the choices that people make today. By recognizing the risks, whether cyber security threats, misinformation on a massive scale through digital media, potential unemployment, or increasing social and income inequality, we can take the steps to align common human values with technological progress and ensure that the Fourth Industrial Revolution benefits human beings first and foremost. With these fundamental transformations underway today, we have the opportunity to proactively shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution to be both inclusive and human-centered.
This revolution is about much more than technology, it is an opportunity to unite global communities, to build sustainable economies, to adapt and modernize governance models, to reduce material and social inequalities, and to commit to values-based leadership of emerging technologies. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is therefore not a prediction of the future but a call to action. It is a vision for developing, diffusing, and governing technologies in ways that foster a more empowering, collaborative, and sustainable foundation for social and economic development, built around shared values of the common good, human dignity, and intergenerational.
It is important to understand the pillars of the Industrial Revolution and I will simplify some of them to enable everyone to understand.
1. Big data- This is a large, complex datasets that affect the decision making of companies such as big data analytics, algorithms and software programs.
2. Autonomous robots- This solves complex tasks which cannot be solved by humans.
3. Simulation- Mathematical modelling, algorithms that optimize the process such as software programs.
4. Additive manufacturing- This is a 3D printing technology, producing in mass customization such as 3D printers to produce smart phones.
5. Cloud computing- Shared platforms that serve multiple users such as Google Drive among other things.
6. Augmented reality- Human-machine interaction on maintenance tasks.
7. Cyber security- Cyber-counter strategies within a business environment or national defence systems that thwart malicious software and hackers, to name a few.
When we look at things in a nutshell, it is clear that the human culture is dynamic – from the stone age that proved a catalyst of fire, right through to the industrial revolution that birthed the steam engine.
Hence one thing is a constant – that human beings have an inherent desire to push innovation toward the peaks of imagination. It stands to reason that sitting idle will simply let someone else out there do it.
It is a competitive environment. A day will come where more breakthroughs emerge and a Fifth Industrial Revolution is knocking at our doors.