The fourth industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0, refers to the current transformation of the economy towards the widespread adoption of physical manifestations of computing, such as pervasive computing, robotics, artificial intelligence, and new production techniques like nanobot assembly. This transformation is likely to have significant impacts on the economy, quality of life, and culture, as it may result in the automation of many jobs, including those in the field of software development that may shift towards machine learning.
The fourth industrial revolution has the potential to lead to either a paradise of material abundance, justice, environmental restoration, and fulfilling new professions, or a dystopian future, depending on how well risks and governance are managed. It is likely to be a time of significant social upheaval, as the changes brought about by Industry 4.0 will have significant implications for the way we work, live, and interact with each other. It is important for society to carefully consider the risks and opportunities presented by this transformation in order to ensure a positive outcome for all.
First Industrial Revolution, 1820 ~ 1840
The first industrial revolution was the shift of the economy towards machines, particularly steam powered machines.
Second Industrial Revolution, 1870 ~ 1914
The second industrial revolution was driven by electrical power, telephones and automobiles. Factories organized as assembly lines and mass production began.
Third Industrial Revolution, 1949 ~ Current
The third industrial revolution is known as the digital revolution. It includes the development of the knowledge economy and automation. It is primarily driven by the exponential growth of computing power. Computing underwent a dramatic shift beginning in 1994 with the commercialization of the internet. Suddenly much information was connected by a high speed network resulting in explosive growth in the knowledge economy and shifts from physical things such as shopping malls to digital things such as software.