The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.
The fourth revolution is unfolding before our eyes. Its genesis is situated at the dawn of the third millennium with the emergence of the Internet. This is the first industrial revolution rooted in a new technological phenomenon,digitalization-rather than in the emergence of a new type of energy. This digitalization enables us to build a new virtual world from which we can steer the physical world.
This Fourth Industrial Revolution is, however, fundamentally different. It is characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human.
The current era of Industry 4.0 is being shaped through big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, 3D printing, drones and the Internet of Things (IoT).
What makes 4th Industrial Revolution so special?
As with any revolution, society and citizens of that era are the beneficiaries and the ones that are affected. 4th industrial revolution is special for our generation, as it is going change the societal fabric of our times. Unlike the previous ones, this industrial revolution has larger impacts on us from technological, biological, economic, societal and ethical perspective.
According to Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, the impact is profound as this revolution is evolving with greater velocity, affecting various industries, economies, and countries across the world and calling for a total overhaul of the existing systems and processes.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a fascinating, comprehensive and enlightening dialogue highlighting the many different benefits and challenges that humankind can expect as we move further forward into a new and unfamiliar wave of industrial development. Those with an interest in where we are headed as a society, but who find themselves overwhelmed by the synonymous talk of ‘Industry 4.0’, ‘smart factories’ and ‘factories of the future’ can hope to find their questions answered and concerns addressed by this illustrative and informative new publication.