Fourth Industrial Revolution vs the Third Industrial Revolution


“The First Industrial Revolution used steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create a mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres” – Professor Klaus Schwab

As we began 2017, talks of a fourth industrial revolution were becoming more and more than just whispers in corridors and meeting rooms. We are at the brink of a technological revolution and it is unfolding right before our eyes every day with every gadget we engage with. Imagine walking into a mall for the first time and you don’t know your way around, and all you need to do is turn your GPS and the app will start running a virtual reality navigation of where exactly you need to go.

When compared with previous revolutions, the fourth seems to be a force that will disrupt many industries globally and according to research, it will transform systems within productions, management and governance. The fourth industrial revolution is comprised of endless possibilities of artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing. We could all be connected in these fields through the touch of our mobile devices.

Like all the revolutions that preceded it, it has the potential to raise global economy and improve a quality of life for those with access; this obviously will also have an adverse impact on the major inequalities we deal with today. If we are looking to streamline, simple services, production outputs which could potentially reduce labour costs, this will inherently deeply affect the job market.
We yet to know, how this fourth technological revolution could affect the future; however, we are the generation set right in the pioneering years of what seems to be a blast of technology breakthroughs. Get ready!