You Better Start Believing in Industrial Revolutions, Dear Reader…You’re In One

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From Pirates of the Caribbean Curse of the Black Pearl, 2003.

IoT, 3D printing, robots, AI, digital twins, big data –it’s all happening now. In the midst of the flurry of activity, it’s hard to get a sense of it, but historians will look back on this time as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The First Industrial Revolution, connected with the steam engine, made rural people come to the cities to work  in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Second Industrial Revolution, driven by the internal combustion engine and energy, took place before World War 1. For what electricity didn’t move, oil did.

The Third Industrial Revolution was driven by the computer, when computers got personal and the Internet. It started in the 1980’s.

Just when we had it all figured out, the Fourth Industrial revolution has changed all the rules. It is likely to change our jobs — if not take them — and force more than a few of us into early retirement. The degrees we got that guaranteed jobs for life are under threat from artificial intelligence that can think faster and robots that can work harder.

It’s not fair. So cried victim of previous industrial revolutions. The Luddites, skilled textile workers, rallied against the machines that took away their livelihood in the First Industrial revolution. It did not go well for them. Or the assembly workers displaced by robots. Or the toll takers replaced by FastPass. Soon enough, Uber drivers replaced with self driving cars.

Ah, who needs humans, anyway. Oh, I forgot. Humans do. Someone has to watch all the cooking shows and  go to all the restaurants.

For Further Reading and Watching:

 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: What it Means, How to Respond, the World Economic Forum, 2016

 

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