The fourth industrial revolution which is known as Industry 4.0, or SIMPLY 4IR in the tech fraternity, is poised to disrupt our way of life as we have come to know and understand it. The 1st revolution introduced mechanisation and replaced a lot of the work done by hand in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors. The steam engine became the driver of economic growth, as it was an energy that drove the development of railroad infrastructure, metal forging and eventually the creation of factories.
This was followed a century later by the combustion engine with the emergence of oil, gas and electricity as energy sources. Communication methods were bolstered with the advent of the telegraph and the telephone, the automobile and the airplane. The third revolution was characterised by the emergence of nuclear energy, the miniaturization of components for the development of electronics. The rise of computing made automation possible and gave mankind the capability of space travel for research. Robots started doing work previously done by humans.
Upon us in yet another revolution, where computing, telecommunications and electronics have joined together to influence the control of industrial machines. This control of machines by machines removes the reliance on human beings who previously had control. In addition, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning using data collected over time to learn and make decisions based on results and predictions for process improvement and efficiency, will replace humans in many fields. What does this mean for us?
Is it going to be a case of robots taking over and getting rid of all humans like we saw in the terminator movies? Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are on opposite ends of the looking glass when it comes to the result of unleashing AI. One thing is certain though, Information security will have a vital role in this uncertain future.
As with the 1st, second and third industrial revolutions, humans find themselves at a point where we need to evolve with the times. We need to have skill sets that are a combination of technical knowledge and cognitive ability. Most of the jobs that will be available do not even exist yet. As much as it is a scary time, it is a time where opportunities are plenty. A time where we have a reset and an opportunity for all mankind to once again rediscover our natural ability to adapt.
The opportunities around the Internet of Things (IoT), which is what 4IR is on a smaller household and office scale, are massive. People from urban and rural areas alike can make use of IoT. The challenge that still holds back those in rural communities is the lack of high-speed broadband which is a major catalyst for learning and finding these IoT opportunities. Once this is addressed, hopefully with the rollout of white space spectrum where rural villages must be prioritised, a whole new world will open-up for the once forgotten rural citizens.
Introducing computing to children at an early age will guarantee that their future is secured. Everyone needs computer skills and though some may feel it is late, it can still be done. The internet hosts a throve of information that can be used as self-study material. You can still become a Software Engineer, System Architect or Data Scientist by taking an online course to get ahead. Of course, this requires access to the internet. That is why rural citizens need to make themselves heard and demand access NOW!
Will it level the playing field?
What are they?
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