Living Through Fourth Industrial Revolution

Danil Korchagin set up Aicue, technology Company that targets to change the way audience videos are consumed on the web, in 2011. In this article, he shares his point of view on ongoing fourth industrial revolution and its impact on everyday life.

We live in amazing time of fourth industrial revolution. The industrial revolution surpasses the scope of ICT, transforms the world and businesses, jobs and life styles. The concepts such as digital transformation, artificial intelligence and connected objects, incarnated into smartphones, are already hiding in our pockets. The self-driving cars leave science fiction and arrive into reality. The old professions go into oblivion and get replaced by new exciting jobs.

The artificial intelligence based solutions are already present in many cross-domains and quite often used by professionals and businesses to smarter use time and improve productivity. These solutions can manage financial portfolios and decrypt genetic code, pilot robots and drive cars, entertain people and even be creative. As an example, the cliperie.com platform creates new compelling clips by automatically linking audience videos all together from big data cloud.

The big data becomes de facto fuel of XXI century and industrial revolution. The amount of information, which is being gathered and transmitted by digital gadgets, sensors and internet of things, surpasses any imagination. Constantly increasing and improving population of digital objects results in constantly improving quantity and quality of data, while the next 5G mobile networks are going to take care about increasing digital data traffic. The big data surrounds us and helps to come up with efficient solutions.

There are already more than fifteen billion connected objects worldwide. The population of connected devices will surpass fifty billions in less than five years. The internet of things, network of connected devices, is already present in commercial and industrial, consumer and infrastructure areas: from connected wearable heart monitor wristbands to connected pullovers, from connected security cameras to connected alarms, from connected parking lot sensors to connected displays of available places.

The internet of things in turn enables smart tiers of technologies as smart homes, smart parking, smart traffic control and smart cities. The smart home hubs control communication among connected thermostats and stores, heating systems and other connected objects to enable home automation, energy savings and higher quality of life. The smart cities enable to reduce traffic jams and adjust public transportation in real-time, tighten security control and predict unforeseen events, reduce noise pollution and improve air quality.

Constantly connected digital gadgets continue to pull further more people from reality to social networks and virtual worlds. The choice of remote communication still outfights real life communication. The picture of the family together with each member navigating within its own virtual world on smartphone starts to be everyday occurrence. The same picture can be observed in the trains, airports and other places. However, some people started to apply reasonable moderation.

Even when people put away connected gadgets and back to physical world, the following interaction might be with nearby humanoid robot. Powered with same artificial intelligence as their virtual compatriots, they can follow conversations, understand individual social signals and respond appropriately. Their social interaction ability keeps improving, making future humanoid robots irreplaceable companions and assistants in nursing homes and hospitals, hotels and commercial stores.

The industrial robots automate production helps industries to be more competitive on the global market and has positive impact on job market in many countries due to manufacturing stays at home instead of being moved overseas.

The tangible shift in professions happens with all industrial revolutions. The current one is not an exception. Some professions get automated, freeing up people to do new tasks: data management, data interpretation, digital marketing management, robot supervision, process control, process moderation, intervention in unforeseen situations, quality control and so on. The automated places can enable work week reduction and equilibrate shift in social insurances caused by increasing life expectancy.

The advances in technologies enable to process more data with less energy and smarter use available resources. The paradox in our society is that the focus still stays on profitability and growth over durability and climate sustainability. As consequence, the digital footprint on global energy consumption keeps increasing from year to year and can reach one fifth by 2030, regardless it is feasible to pursue industrial revolution at moderate pace within fixed energetic envelope until there is an excess of renewable energy.

The years will pass. The artificial intelligence, big data and internet of things will become ordinary tools in many areas of our life just like electricity and telephones, internet and personal computers did during previous industrial revolutions. No one will be questioning them anymore. They stay under human control. The human society is free to decide up to which extent new technologies and innovations have to be validated, regulated and certified for future everyday use.

About the Author 

Dr Danil Korchagin is an innovator and senior expert in ICT. He specialises in signal processing, data analysis and software engineering. Having worked for industries, organisations and academia, Danil Korchagin has comprehensive experience in both the industrial and academic worlds. He has managed many ICT projects with outstanding performance outcomes. He is founder of Aicue.

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