Fourth Industrial revolution; Are we ready?

The world has witnessed three major phases of transition the first industrial revolution aimed at steam-based mechanization. The second one aimed at mass production with electrification of industries while the third one aimed at digitization. Today we are at the brink of the fourth industrial revolution which will enable the creation of new technologies that will bring change at a speed, scale and force unlike anything the humankind has experienced before.

Cyber physical system is the fundamental aspect of the industry 4.0, which is the fusion of technologies such as smart grid, embedded systems, mobile networks etc. and its interaction across physical, digital and biological domains.

Now let’s talk about artificial intelligence, the catalyst to industry 4.0. This includes neural networks, NLP, and #robotics. Virtual assistants and #chatbots are immediate applications of artificial Intelligence. #Sophia; the first andro-humanoid robot which has been given the citizenship of Saudi Arabia in 2016 because of her abilities to interact with humans and capability of sensing the environment just as we do.The artificial intelligence is based on Perception which is an artificial neuron that carries out all the functions of a biological neuron. Let’s discuss the role of 3d printing in this revolution. It is used presently to create prototypes of various objects like buildings, automobiles etc. About 86% of hearing aids are made by 3d printing. By 2050, we will be able to make artificial organs which can be implanted in human body.

Now let’s talk about big data which is the memory bank of artificial intelligence. The present-day computers are not sufficient for storing huge amount of available data. Quantum computing is the solution for managing and storing the big data available. The best application of big data is block-chain on which the bitcoin is based. Cloud computing is another way of managing big data which is used to deliver all computing services over the internet.

#IOT Internet of things plays a very important role in shaping the fourth industrial revolution. Lot is the interconnection of all devices through the internet. These devices have computer systems embedded with the help of which they can send and receive data. Some examples of Iot are autonomous vehicles which are connected to numerous other devices that can share data so that these may sense their environment accurately. When now I am speaking here, Google’s driver-less car ”WAYMO” has already completed 9 million MILES and that too, without any accidents. A smart home consists of all daily devices being connected to the internet and we can operate it using our mobile phone from anywhere in the world. An example of a smart home device can be the Samsung smart fridge which can sense the things kept inside it.

 VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY devices which create an illusion of a real world like view, smart watches and automated industries are all examples of Iot. Would you like to visit the Amazon Go store in Seattle. What difference does it make? Well, it has no cashier or employees. People can walk in, grab whatever they need, and the bill is credited from their accounts. A similar shop called Watasale has recently been opened in Cochin.

Coming towards biotechnology; a very important and inseparable part of IR 4.0. Recent advances include genomic coding which is the coding of DNA structure of organisms. Nanotechnology which manipulates matter – for example, programming drugs in such a way that they reach only the diseased cells. Biochips are nanoscale semiconductors which have 1000 times more memory capacity. Further we have implantable organs and neuromorphic computing which are all applications of biotechnology.

Fourth industrial revolution is changing every aspect of our lives like education, health, agriculture etc. But with these advancements come several challenges like risk of robo-world, Bitcoin frauds, questionable privacy and cyber crimes.

Looking at this graph, we can understand that there is a sharp increase in the number of cyber crime cases in India since 2014. But all these problems can be solved by creating awareness, by introducing new laws and creating new algorithms.

By 2050 we will be gifted with longevity, robo-security, globalization, smart living and designer beings.

As the founder and chairman of world economic forum MR. KLAUS SCHWAB has rightly said: The fourth industrial revolution is still in its nascent state. But with the swift pace of change and disruption to business and society, the time to join is now. Thus we can say that we are all geared up to face this phase of transition and growth.