The best way we can understand the fourth industrial revolution,(4IR),where we are, is to understand where we are coming from.
The world’s first Industrial revolution is marked by the invention of the steam engine in the 1760s in Britain.The second one was when the world started using electricity whereas the third one, the Digital Age,was when the computer was invented as well as the internet.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution develops from the third one, however, it is characterized by more robust and disruptive technologies than its predecessor.
These include; the Internet of things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, robotics, virtual reality, artificial intelligence etc.
Lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres are getting thinner and thinner,due to these technologies.
Traditional jobs and businesses are being challenged as new technology advanced business models are emerging.Is my job safe?Will my business survive? These are the questions leaving many with fear and hopelessness.
Jobs, Businesses and Industries
The fact is, some jobs are definitely being dissolved, nevertheless, new ones are also developing.New business models are being developed, existing businesses are remodeling and/or entirely new businesses are emerging.
The survival of job holders, skill sellers or businesses and industries , will depend on one ‘s level of adaptability to the current and developing environment, the 4IR.
The government,entrepreneurs (Job creators)
As the Fourth Industrial Revolution progresses, there is a high chance that the labour market or workforce space will have a net gain.That means there will be more jobs created than destroyed.The problem is only that the kind of jobs that are being created are different from the existing ones we know or familiar with.
To achieve this net gain and/or to be prepared for this radical change, the government (public sector) and entrepreneurs (private sector), need to invest more in the following:
- the way of learning and the subjects offered must be structured in a way that prepares students for the current and developing environment
- the inequality between public and private education must be eliminated
- encourage more critical thinking skills,innovation and creativity.
- invest in the building,installation,maintenance and training on the use of the infrastructure that supports the 4IR technologies.
- keep finding ways to improve our way of life through these technologies and how best we can create value from them with minimum damage to our environment.
The 4IR will destroy many jobs and businesses as well as create more.Even if your current job or business is rendered obsolete by these technologies, it does not mean you value is also rendered obsolete or insignificant,find other ways of expressing or contributing your value in any present or future environment.