04 Dec The 4th Industrial Revolution
Cyber Physical Systems
The Fourth Industrial Revolution happening now, you may not have noticed the impact that it is already having but already many of the things you interact with are absorbing and incorporating physical cyber systems. There are
3.7 billion connected consumers and 26 billion machines connected to each other and that does not include 7.3 billion smartphone, tablets and personal computers. Through innovative technology, unprecedented processing power and speed, 2.5 quintillion bytes of information a day data is being collected but so far we are only scratching the surface of utilising all that information.
Robotics, Machine Learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), Smart City (SC), mobile computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to many people, these changes are scary, even terrifying. These fears are not helped by frequently hysterical media screaming “The end of 40 million jobs!” without so much as stopping to think and look at history to examine the previous three industrial revolutions.
The previous industrial revolutions have shown us that people and industries need to adapt with new technology, failure to do so and they struggle and then eventually fail. The previous industrial revolutions have all been inevitable, for better and worse. The difference this time is that now the planet and society as a whole cannot afford for the 4th Industrial Revolution to add to the worst elements. The 4th Industrial Revolution has to bring the benefits to the entire planet, for the entire planet.
4th Industrial Revolution – Changing Mind-sets
4th Industrial Revolution technology that we already have allows people to better at their jobs. It is human creativity that drives the technology which then enables further human creativity. Rather than fearing for our futures we need to do what the human mind does best, look at the potential within each technologies. For from fearing that human skills will be devalued we are seeing unprecedented opportunities to re-imagine our world, to improve it, to repair and nurture it. Software and technology have the potential to empower people to a far greater degree than in the past thus enabling us to unlock the latent creativity, perception and imagination of humans at every level.
Human and machines must each be allowed to play to their own best strengths. This will enable workers at the front line of service to make smarter decisions, solve tougher problems, respond quickly and do their jobs better.
Humans are chaotic and from that comes creativity. We can read weaknesses, evaluate complex patterns, and then make creative, strategic decisions. Machines will supply us with the insight and the perspective we need to reach solutions but they will not supply the judgement or the ingenuity, people will.
AI systems gather information from multiple sensors and then forecasts when, why and how the machine systems are likely to break down using predictive analytics. No human can do this as effectively but it does leave humans to do what they do best: fix it, using their experience, judgement and skill. Whatever action the human takes can then be fed back into the system to become data that feeds back into the software, improving the analytics and predictions for the next problem.
The productivity that could be unleashed from this human cyber physical systems interaction could be reminiscent of what the world saw at the advent of the first industrial revolution but this time the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be much broader and deeper, than the first revolution. For the first time we will really have the knowledge, talent and the tools to solve the world’s biggest problems such as pollution, climate change, and disease