We are at the beginning of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” which is also named as Industry 4.0. The first industrial revolution was steam engine and iron; second one was electricity, steel, chemical and telecommunication. The third revolution was Internet and Telecommunication. Now we are stepping in to fourth industrial revolution with the growth of big data, artificial intelligence, robotics, Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, and Quantum computing. These technologies will enable a more intelligent and efficient world.
Let’s go through some of the driving force of this revolution.
According to the Google dictionary, “Artificial intelligence is the theory and development of Computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision‐making, and translation between languages.”
From Amazon and Facebook to Google and Microsoft, leaders of the world’s most influential technology firms are highlighting their enthusiasm for Artificial Intelligence (AI). The key area that AI is working is the ability to solve problems through logical deduction, the ability to represent knowledge about the world, the ability to set and achieve goals, the ability to understand written and spoken language, the ability to deduce things about the world from visual images, sounds and other sensory inputs. By using reasoning in all, it will be possible to do work like Legal assessment; financial asset management; financial application processing; games; autonomous weapons systems. Using the knowledgebase, AI can predict Medical diagnosis; drug creation; purchase prediction; financial market trading and fraud prevention.
Now a day, we can see AI is used in the form of perception in Autonomous vehicles and surveillance. Many tech companies are investing in AI for Logistics; scheduling; navigation; physical and digital network optimization; predictive maintenance; demand forecasting and inventory management to achieve precise results.
Blockchain is an illuminating, critically important platform for the next digital age. The financial industry is active about how blockchain will change the world. Many don’t realize that the transformation has already begun and blockchain is revolutionizing finance. Digital assets are reinventing traditional financial and social structures while connecting the world’s billions of “unbanked” individuals with a new global economy. This new technology combines the peer‐to‐peer approach to computing developed in Silicon Valley with the traditional money‐management techniques of Wall Street. Blockchain is opening world markets, much as the Internet revolutionized open access to information. The artificial barriers currently in place—both geographical and financial—will be dissolved. The ability to access any service, physical asset or tool you need, when and where you need it, will prove transformative and more equal for both the consumer and the entrepreneur. Blockchain technology bids a once‐ in‐a‐generation chance for deep financial innovation. Only those who recognize this potential will help build the future of financial technology and capitalize on this unparalleled opportunity for value creation.
One of the main elements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the Internet of Things (IoT), which uses digital technology to connect sensors and machines to each other and to factory workers. The lot enables a transformational opportunity, including open‐standards‐based automation solutions, IT and operational technology (OT) convergence, and vastly enhanced business intelligence. Here in IoT ‐ field devices, machines, production modules and products are comprised as Cyber‐Physical Systems (CPS) that are autonomously trading information, triggering actions and controlling each other independently. Factories are developing into intelligent environments in which the gulf between the real and digital world is becoming smaller. The strong favoritism of the electro‐technical and hierarchical world of factory automation will change to smart factory networks, that enable dynamic reengineering processes and deliver the ability to respond flexibly to disruptions and failures.
Nanotechnology is another field that leads to industrial revolution. Nanotechnology holds promise in the quest for powerful computers and communications devices. But the most applications are in medical science. Nanorobots might serve as antibodies. As disease‐causing bacteria and viruses mutate in their endless attempts to get around medical treatments, nanorobots could be reprogrammed to selectively seek out and destroy them. Other nanorobots might be programmed to single out and kill cancer cells. In the computer world nanotech is used in various components. Scientists have developed a new method to enhance the capabilities of the memristor—an emerging nanotechnology that offers a simpler and smaller alternative to the transistor. The researchers have demonstrated that the new memristor technology can store up to 128 discernible memory states per switch, which is almost four times higher than what was previously reported. They could achieve this by evaluating several configurations of functional oxide materials—the core component that gives the memristor its ability to alter its resistance.
Military, Medial and Industries are emphasizing on robotics ever than before. Since Sept. 11, 2001, tens of thousands of remote‐controlled robots have been deployed by the U.S. military. Flying drones have become a common weapon in operations in the Middle East. Unmanned land vehicles have helped U.S. forces safely destroy roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And underwater drones have been used to collect data for science and reconnaissance, and to disable naval mines. If we talk about the robots in medical fields, medical robots are classified into non‐invasive radio‐surgery robots, surgical robots, rehabilitation robots, hospital and pharmacy robots etc. The surgical robots are those that reduce the complications involved in surgeries and improve the accuracy of the procedure. Surgical robots are further classified into orthopedic surgical robots, laparoscopy robotic systems, steerable robotic systems, neurosurgical robotic systems etc. The neurosurgical robotic systems are expected to witness an increase in demand for minimally invasive surgeries and improve the accuracy of the procedure. According to reports, North America followed by Europe has the largest market for robot-assisted surgery. The global market for medical robots has witnessed an increase from $4.90 billion in 2016 to $12.8 billion in 2021. The developing nations like China, Japan and India are expected to experience the highest growth in robotic assisted surgery in the future.
In conclusion, technologies related to fourth industrial revolution, could have huge benefits for many companies – but they will also create big challenges. The World Economic Forum expressed that ‘Across nearly all industries, the impact of technological and other changes is shortening the shelf‐life of employees. All nations whether it is first world or third world need to think ahead about the necessity of near future and change the structure of education and training program.