The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. The first gave us factories and the huge Industrial Revolution of the 18th Century that harnessed the power of steam and water. The second focused on mass production and the growth of assembly line processes, while the third moved towards developing computing abilities and basic automation. So, what makes this one different? Well, The Fourth Industrial Revolution will look at how we can enhance the ‘smart’ aspects of current technology, but how far away are we from properly embracing this?
What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution will essentially build on the digital growth of the past few decades by relying more on automation and learned processes for machines. If the first in the 1700s was about machines in factories aiding people, this would be about machines in factories that don’t need people to use them. Still, in its infancy – mass automation and machine learning reliance haven’t been adopted to enough of an extent yet – we are experiencing the technology across a range of industries.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is possibly one of the most noticeable aspects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as people probably wouldn’t notice logistical improvements or the use of machine learning in factories. This encompasses using big data to streamline processes, using robotics, computing using the cloud, and using smart technology to essentially speed things up and make them more reliable.
How Close to the Revolution Are We Already?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution will essentially streamline existing processes by enhancing modern technology. There is already a meld between what we can do and how we can use the smart technology of machines to speed up these processes.
Smart Technology at Home
The best example of this technology and how it could impact our lives is through assistant hubs – such as Google Home and the Amazon Alexa. The smart home takes data from us qualitatively, and through studies such as eating and fitness habits, and sleep analysis, to help us live smoother and more efficient lives. Your home instinctively opening the curtains at a time when you are primed to wake up, preparing your coffee, and setting the thermostat to the temperature you like is probably the best way for most to fully comprehend just what these developments entail.
But it’s not just around the house that this technology can be experienced. It also helps people engage with things that they might otherwise not have been able to, such as the finance industry. Indeed, as the list of the best forex brokers for crypto trading shows, trading and investment has utilized a combination of machine learning and human intervention to bring cryptocurrency to those interested in it. The list consists of platforms that showcase how they use tools to analyse the current market while viewing it historically to help budding traders make such decisions. The platforms that will be most appealing will be the ones that can demonstrate the best use of new technology.
Our search engines use this technology to analyze our search interests and provide recommendations. Most people have been viewing something, such as watches, and then have seen ads for them across other sites, including Facebook. Some have even suggested that verbal comments they have made have influenced adverts they have seen online. There has been contention over just how useful this technology is. For instance, adverts for a specific product, like a watch, are pointless once the watch has been purchased.
Streaming services are key proponents of using this technology, too. They take our viewing habits on Netflix, for instance, and show us new content that matches our preferences. This helps create services that are extremely customized. Spotify and other music streaming platforms do the same thing, cultivating a personal experience on the platform used by millions. This is emblematic of the data collection aspect and shows how this data could be used on a relatively small scale.
What Next for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
The next step for the revolution would be a greater proliferation of these technologies in day-to-day life. Not only do the public need to understand the inherent benefits, but sceptics in the world of business need to be convinced. The easiest way is through the tangible nature of what exactly the technology could do.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution will be the quietest one. It will largely happen without us noticing and only when we look back will we see just how far we have come. Already huge inventions such as the internet are taken as commonplace and each generation expects more from their technology. In fifty years’ time, the world will be a completely different place.