The Fourth Industrial Revolution

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Attempts to find comparable periods of well defined technological revolutions in the pre-modern era are highly speculative. After there became popular the idea that a sequence of technological revolutions is not over and in the forthcoming future we will witness the dawn of a new universal technological revolution.

The main innovations should develop in the fields of nanotechnologies , alternative fuel and energy systems , biotechnologies , genetic engineering , new materials technologies and so on. The industrial development plan of Germany began promoting the term Industry 4. Schwab expects this era to be marked by breakthroughs in emerging technologies in fields such as robotics , artificial intelligence , nanotechnology , quantum computing , biotechnology , the internet of things , the industrial internet of things IIoT , decentralized consensus, fifth-generation wireless technologies 5G , 3D printing and fully autonomous vehicles.

Jeremy Rifkin includes technologies like 5G, autonomous vehicles, Internet of Things, and renewable energy in the Third Industrial Revolution. Sometimes the notion of "technological revolution" is used for the Second Industrial Revolution in the period about , but in this case the designation "technical revolution" would be more proper. When the notion of technical revolution is used in more general meaning it is almost identical with technological revolution, but technological revolution requires material changes in used tools, machines, energy sources, production processes.

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Technical revolution can be restricted to changes in management, organisation and so called non-material technologies e. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is written like a personal reflection, personal essay, or argumentative essay that states a Wikipedia editor's personal feelings or presents an original argument about a topic. Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style. April Learn how and when to remove this template message.

By technological eras. By historical regions. By type of technology. History of agriculture History of biotechnology History of communication History of computer hardware History of electrical engineering History of manufacturing History of materials science History of measurement History of medicine History of nuclear technology History of transport. Technology timelines. Timeline of historic inventions Complete list by category.

Article indices. Outline of technology Outline of prehistoric technology. Further information: Emerging technologies and Industry 4. Society 5. Retrieved October 10, Retrieved October 15, The Fourth Industrial Revolution. New York: Crown Publishing Group.

Digital technologies [ World Economic Forum. The possibilities of billions of people connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge, are unlimited.

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Why Everyone Must Get Ready For 4th Industrial Revolution

And these possibilities will be multiplied by emerging technology breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing. Industrial and technological revolution. First Second Third Potential future.

Category Commons. The technological revolution in the form of telegraph and rail networks, wider use of public utilities gas, water and sewage system , and factory electrification featured the second industrial revolution. The third industrial revolution had begun since the mid-twentieth century with the emergence of nuclear energy, the rise of electronics-based transistor and microprocessor, computer, telecommunication, biotechnology, and high level of automation in the production process. The fourth industrial revolution, that has been taking shape since the late of the twentieth century, builds upon the third revolution and the digital innovation.

World Economic Forum Founder Klaus Schwab on the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Artificial intelligence, genome editing, augmented reality, robotics, Internet of things, and 3-D printing are the features of the fourth industrial revolution. What makes the fourth industrial revolution different from past three industrial revolutions? The fourth industrial revolution is characterised by merging technology that is argued to obscure the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres.

It is commonly argued that the magnitude and intensity of these changes are leading to the transformation of the entire production, management and governance systems in ways which are unprecedented.

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It should, however, be mentioned that this is not a very new phenomenon. At the core of all industrial revolutions is the political economy of the relationship between technological advancement and economic development. A better understanding of the fourth industrial revolution requires political economy analysis of the relationship between technology and development.


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The relationship between technology and economic development has been complex. Under the free market economy, the demand for new technology is driven by the competition among firms in the production process to enjoy internal economies of scale and to become more competitive in terms of price and quality.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means and how to respond | World Economic Forum

At the industry level, the demand for new technology can be driven by the compulsion to generate external economies of scale. The supply of new technology, however, does not go hand-in-hand with the demand for new technology.


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  5. Like the past three other industrial revolutions, the fourth industrial revolution also has the promise of enhancing global production level and improving welfare and the quality of lives of the people across countries. The new opportunities include a dramatic reduction in the transaction costs in terms of accessing information, adopting new technology in the production process, availing services, consumption of goods, and trade within and between countries.

    Social sectors, like health and education, have already started seeing new approaches and potentials of benefits of the fourth industrial revolution.


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    While there are fears of job losses due to automation, there is also scope for the creation of new jobs driven by the emergence of new production and supply processes of goods and services. The net effect on jobs in an economy is dependent on the success of the country in terms of economic diversification and development of the skill levels of the workforce. However, while analysing the implications of the fourth industrial revolution for the people at the country or global level, it should be kept in mind that there are huge disparities, in terms of the access to the benefits of technological development, among the people within a country and between the countries.

    Given the nature of the fourth industrial revolution, which has a thrust reliance on artificial intelligence, in future, talent, merit, and intelligence will play a critical role in the distribution of the gains. At the global level too, the gap between countries capable of such continuous innovation and the countries at the periphery is likely to intensify. Therefore, there is a need for concerted and strategic efforts made by governments in developing countries to face the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution.

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