We live in a world of large-scale and faster technological innovation. Our lives, work and human society are being transformed with technology, and the current global pandemic is only accelerating the digital transformation. In this article, we will tell you about the history and the main technological trends that drive the 4th industrial revolution, and which will determine the next decade.
What is The Fourth Industrial Revolution?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a process leading to changes in society through the introduction of technologies that create new industries and radically change existing ones. Examples of such technologies are artificial intelligence, virtual reality, cloud technology, the Internet of things and others.
History of creation and development
All three industrial revolutions that happened significantly changed the life of humanity. During the first industrial revolution, a transition was made from agrarian to industrial society (the appearance of factories and plants). The second culminated in the appearance of the first automated production lines and such communication technologies as telegraph, radio and telephone. The third one led to the development of biotechnology, space research, the advent of the Internet and computers, the first robots and so on.
The fourth industrial revolution flows smoothly from the third and proceeds with tremendous speed in comparison with all the previous ones, and implies the merger of the digital / virtual and physical worlds. They first talked about the upcoming industrial revolution in 2011 in Germany, when a group of scientists, politicians, and businessmen adopted a development strategy for German industry to increase its competitiveness and speed up the process of connecting machines and machine tools to the Internet.
Following Germany, other countries picked up similar ideas. The 4th Industrial Revolution to one extent or another affects every area of life in every country in the world. The main players at present are Germany, Great Britain, China, the USA and the Netherlands.
The 4th Industrial Revolution got its name from the initiative of the financial and industrial complex and the scientific community of Germany as a key means of ensuring the competitiveness of the country’s industry through the use of Cyber Physical Systems.
Having appeared in Germany, the initiative quickly gained followers around the world. As part of this, enterprises are expected to switch to a new type of process management. To execute the technological process, networked machines will autonomously and coordinately change production processes in accordance with the general task. They will do it quickly, efficiently, without a setup step and errors.
Another feature of the fourth industrial revolution is the realization of the idea of service-oriented design and production. A key feature of this idea is the connection between “smart machines” and “smart things”. Smart things will independently instruct smart machines to produce themselves as they wear out or analyze the needs of the consumer.
Advances in technology provide the industry with ready-made environments for collecting and processing data from such companies as Intel IoT Platform, Microsoft AZURE, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Big Data, OpenStack and others. The presented environments have a wide range of computing services, ready for users to build complex and highly loaded technological data processing services. Including the construction of complex mathematical models of production facilities and data storage both in the traditional relational model and in other forms.
A huge number of PC-compatible controllers, built on the basis of the architecture of ARM, x86, x64, are produced in the world, and they are a ready-made platform for building bridges to the cloud (local and heterogeneous) data storage and processing environments. Great efforts are being made by large manufacturers of software to develop the environment of “makers”, because it is they who will test new technologies today and will build new types of production tomorrow.
There are such technological trends as:
- AI and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence and machine learning refer to the ability of machines to act intelligently and learn. They can perform tasks, make decisions, and even predict possible outcomes based on what they learn from the data.
AI is changing our world and the way we live in it. We already use it in everyday life, starting with a Google search and ending with personalized offers received from Netflix.
Also, machine learning and AI are the foundation upon which many other techno trends are built. Artificial intelligence gives machines the ability to perform a wide range of human-like processes, such as recognizing faces using vision, using chatbots or speaking using Siri and Alexa.
- Cobots and Robots
Nowadays, robots are gradually ceasing to be the future. Robotic solutions are becoming more and more popular, and even greater growth in robotics can be expected in the next ten years. Of course, there will be more discussion about the social, industrial, and economic use of robots.
It is the ability to act autonomously and intelligence that determines robots and separates them from other machines. The growth of collaborative robots is the latest generation of robotic systems designed to work together with humans as fellow robots. Cobots improve the work that people do, and easily and safely interact with the human workforce. They can be called an additional robotic muscle in the workplace.
The Internet of things includes several phenomena at once. These are the devices themselves that go online and interact with each other. This is the connection method – M2M – that is, machine-to-machine, without human intervention. This is the big data that devices now generate. Data that can be collected, analyzed and further used to increase comfort or make business decisions.
In simple words, the Internet of things is objects and household devices that are connected to the Internet. This is not only a smart refrigerator, which itself orders the owner’s favorite food or a helpful kettle that boils water on demand from a smartphone. These are smart drones with cameras, field sensors with which you can remotely monitor the condition of soils. Also, sensors in public transport and unified systems for monitoring the life of the city.
- Big data
This term can be described as continuously incoming information from sensors or video and audio recording devices, geolocation coordinates of cellular subscribers, meteorological data, message flows from social networks and much more.
Big data processes large amounts of data than standard scripts, and can work in very large volumes with fast incoming data that is constantly updated. It can work with poorly structured and structured data simultaneously in different aspects. In addition, he suggests that input algorithms receive a stream of not always structured information and that more than one idea can be extracted from it.
A typical example of such a technology is information coming from various physical experimental facilities, for example, from the Large Hadron Collider. The installation continuously produces large amounts of data, and scientists with their help solve many problems in parallel.
By analyzing the mass of data using intelligent algorithms, you can identify patterns and relationships that were previously unknown. And when you can understand the relationships between data points, you can better predict future results and make better decisions about what to do next. Augmented data, which can automatically extract information, will give companies unprecedented information from their data.
- Edge and Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is the provision of computing services, including storage, networks, software, databases, servers, data mining and analytics over the Internet Cloud. These services provide cost savings, increase resource flexibility and accelerate innovation due to their high scalability.
Cloud service providers such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon allow companies to deploy their entire IT infrastructure in their cloud, rather than in the digital walls of an organization, reducing the overhead of operating and maintaining individual systems, data, and software.
Edge is a little different. Peripheral calculations are performed in close proximity to business operations. Instead of sending each piece of information collected by scanners, cameras, handheld terminals or sensors to the cloud being processed, such devices perform all or part of the processing on their own in the source where the data is collected.
A blockchain or distributed ledger is a data structure that provides evidence that certain events occurred in a specific order. It consists of a chain of event blocks with timestamps. Such events are often called transactions.
The blockchain feature is that the pages of this book are simultaneously stored by all users of the network, are constantly updated and link to old pages. And if someone tries to trick the system by tearing or pasting a page into a book, the system will immediately turn to tens of thousands of other versions of this book and find a discrepancy in the structure of the blocks. This will change how banks operate and how we store our property.
The fourth industrial revolution, suggests a new approach to production. During the previous industrial revolution, information technology and electronics were used to automate production. The principle of the 4th Industrial Revolution is based on the mass introduction of information technologies in industry, the spread of artificial intelligence and large-scale automation of business processes.
The industrial revolutions, in spite of the objective problems of growth, already today create such conditions for the development of technologies under which it becomes possible to create an information technology environment for a person that looks more like a fairy tale than reality. It slowly but surely enters our world, and everything indicates that we are headlong into a smart environment, where all objects will be connected for our benefit. Do not worry, this connection will be wireless.
We will keep you informed of all updates regarding that topic.