Fourth Industrial Revolution


Ajit Kumar AJIT KUMARWISDOM IAS, New Delhi.

                           
While the Fourth Industrial Revolution (sometimes called the 4IR or Industry 4.0) is set to change society like never before, it builds on foundations laid by the first three industrial revolutions.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a way of describing the blurring of boundaries between the physical, digital, and biological worlds. It’s a fusion of advances in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, genetic engineering, quantum computing, and other technologies. It’s the collective force behind many products and services that are fast becoming indispensable to modern life.
The fourth industrial revolution is the current  and developing environment in which new technologies are changing the way we live and work.

One of the greatest promises of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is to potential is to improve the quality of life for the world's population and raise income levels.

Technologies Driving Change
 
The easiest way to understand the Fourth Industrial Revolution is to focus on the technologies driving it. These include the following:
 
(1) Artificial intelligence (AI) describes computers that can “think” like humans — recognizing complex patterns, processing information, drawing conclusions, and making recommendations. AI is used in many ways, from spotting patterns in huge piles of unstructured data to powering the autocorrect on your phone.
 
(2) Blockchain is a secure, decentralized, and transparent way of recording and sharing data, with no need to rely on third-party intermediaries. The digital currency Bitcoin is the best known blockchain application. However, the technology can be used in other ways, including making supply chains traceable, securing sensitive medical data anonymously, and combating voter fraud.
 
(3) New computational technologies are making computers smarter. They enable computers to process vast amounts of data faster than ever before, while the advent of the “cloud” has allowed businesses to safely store and access their information from anywhere with internet access, at any time. Quantum computing technologies now in development will eventually make computers millions of times more powerful. These computers will have the potential to supercharge AI, create highly complex data models in seconds, and speed up the discovery of new materials.  
 
(4) Virtual reality (VR) offers immersive digital experiences (using a VR headset) that simulate the real world, while augmented reality merges the digital and physical worlds. Examples include L’Oréal’s makeup app, which allows users to digitally experiment with makeup products before buying them, and the Google Translate phone app, which allows users to scan and instantly translate street signs, menus, and other text.
 
(5) Biotechnology harnesses cellular and biomolecular processes to develop new technologies and products for a range of uses, including developing new pharmaceuticals and materials, more efficient industrial manufacturing processes, and cleaner, more efficient energy sources. Researchers in Stockholm, for example, are working on what is being touted as the strongest biomaterial ever produced.
 
(6) Robotics refers to the design, manufacture, and use of robots for personal and commercial use. While we’re yet to see robot assistants in every home, technological advances have made robots increasingly complex and sophisticated. They are used in fields as wide-ranging as manufacturing, health and safety, and human assistance.
 
(7) 3D printing allows manufacturing businesses to print their own parts, with less tooling, at a lower cost, and faster than via traditional processes. Plus, designs can be customized to ensure a perfect fit.
 
(8) Innovative materials, including plastics, metal alloys, and biomaterials, promise to shake up sectors including manufacturing, renewable energy, construction, and healthcare.
 
(9) The IoT describes the idea of everyday items — from medical wearables that monitor users’ physical condition to cars and tracking devices inserted into parcels — being connected to the internet and identifiable by other devices. A big plus for businesses is that they can collect customer data from constantly connected products, allowing them to better gauge how customers use products and tailor marketing campaigns accordingly. There are also many industrial applications, such as farmers putting IoT sensors into fields to monitor soil attributes and inform decisions such as when to fertilize.
 
(10) Energy capture, storage, and transmission represent a growing market sector, spurred by the falling cost of renewable energy technologies and improvements in battery storage capacity.

First Three Industrial Revolutions
The First Industrial Revolution started in Britain around 1760. It was powered by a major invention: the steam engine. The steam engine enabled new manufacturing processes, leading to the creation of factories.

The Second Industrial Revolution came roughly one century later and was characterized by mass production in new industries like steel, oil and electricity. The light bulb, telephone and internal combustion engine were some of the key inventions of this era.

The inventions of the semiconductor, personal computer and the internet marked the Third Industrial Revolution starting in the 1960s. This is also referred to as the "Digital Revolution."

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is different from the third for two reasons: the gap between the digital, physical and biological worlds is shrinking, and technology is changing faster than ever.
 




Wednesday, 13th Feb 2019, 02:20:03 PM

Add Your Comment:
Post Comment