The staggering growth of technology is dramatically affecting our societies and business landscapes around the world. It is changing how we live, work, enjoy our free time, and communicate with others.
What Is The Fourth Industrial Revolution and How Is It Related to Artificial Intelligence?
Today there are several new technologies that are little known by the public but are already beginning to impact how we live and conduct business. This adds to the complexity of a world in which it is challenging just to keep up with the innovations we do know about. Further complicating matters, many of these emergent technologies can also be combined, leading to exponential growth across multiple categories.
One of the most important modern technologies that will greatly impact our world is artificial intelligence. However, there are also a multitude of other noteworthy technologies that will change lives, including 3D printing, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, nanotechnology, and quantum computing.
Personally, I find all of these new technologies to be extremely fascinating, and I am convinced that each will offer significant benefits for all of mankind. At the same time, they will likely cause us to face a lot of confusion and new challenges, as new technologies are often implemented at a faster rate than the average person takes to understand them.
Klaus Schwab, founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, was the first to call this new era the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
The figure below highlights the primary characteristics of the First, Second, Third and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. Figure 1.8. The Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Some experts believe that the technologies included in the Fourth Industrial Revolution are generally of equal importance. However, I would argue that artificial intelligence is at the core of this particular revolution, making it the most important element and a subject about which we should all learn as much as we can.
With electricity becoming easily accessible, mass production and assembly lines were introduced during the Second Industrial Revolution. Andrew Ng, a leading expert in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning, has been quoted as saying, “Artificial intelligence is the new electricity.” Essentially,
this means that AI is the crucial element for this era and will be used to power other technologies as it becomes embedded in our lives.
There are incredible opportunities available to anyone who truly understands the potential created by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Want to be relevant in the future job market or create a successful business venture? Start studying artificial intelligence, 3D printing, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, nanotechnology, and quantum computing, and you’ll have more opportunities at your fingertips than you could ever fulfill!
However, as mentioned above, we will also face challenges in the new technological landscape. Klaus Schwab argues that the speed at which these new technologies will affect our world can cause a number of problems.
Humans tend to experience things at a linear pace, so the exponential growth of innovations currently being developed makes it hard to keep up.
An additional challenge comes from the way that technological growth can change our lives very quickly and dramatically.
How can we cope with these kinds of changes? While it is important to learn as much as possible about each new technology, it is also crucial that we make an effort to appreciate the characteristics that make us uniquely human, valuing skills like social intelligence, emotional intelligence, and creativity.
Lastly, we are faced with the challenge of not only understanding these technologies, but also of knowing how to use them well. For many years, literacy was the most valuable currency necessary to succeed in life. Within the last few years, however, digital literacy and the ability to understand digital marketing have become the primary skills needed to help people achieve success.
I would argue that in the short term, artificial intelligence literacy and an understanding of the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are the key skills that people need to develop. As we learn new things, it is also important to share as much of this knowledge as we can with those around us.
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