TECHNOLOGICAL innovations in our day are unlike anything we imagined in the past. We are in the midst of an era where technology is changing the course of our everyday lifestyle in a new direction, known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The first industrial revolution of the 18th century used water and steam to increase productivity. The second industrial revolution in 1970 was the base of the technology we have today, in that it used electric power to create mass production. The third one grew out of information technology and brought us automated production. The Fourth Industrial Revolution advances from the concepts of the third one.
It is a fusion of several technologies which blurs the distinct line between the physical, digital and biological biospheres, merging them into one.
There is a fine line between the third and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, although they are both technological. The Fourth Industrial Revolution introduces us to new technologies more rapidly than the third one. It is a breakthrough of new technologies. It has become simple for smartphone users to connect to networks and communicate globally in this day and age.
Technology only becomes simpler as the days go by with artificial intelligence, which implies that devices can think on their own if they are programmed correctly, such as self-driving cars.
What we see around us today has everything to do with the increase of computing power, data and software used to aid our interests.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution has the potential to build a much stronger economy, improving the life of many people. The world has become accessible to us via our smartphones.
Technology will soon raise productivity in business, with devices now performing tasks of human beings and this has its pros and cons. Technology which is used in the business world cuts out the risk of human error and thwarts many white-collar crimes that businesses have been experiencing up to today.
However, it may cause a major disruption in labour markets due to workers being replaced by machines, therefore increasing the number of unemployed citizens and increasing poverty in the economy.
The key concern regarding the industrial revolution is inequality. People who will benefit from innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will only be those who can afford it. It accounts for the rising gap between workers and shareholders.
Impact on business
The industrial revolution allows businesses to monitor buyer trends, the needs of the public, communicate with potential clients and market their business digitally.
It improves the quality of goods, as well as services and decreases production time. Businesses need to keep up with the technological trends in order to stay ahead of their competitors.
However, this change also brings about disruption of procedures, which results in loss of profits.
The content we are exposed to on social media influences us to have certain preferences, pick up new trends and can change our mindset. Being able to stay connected is fantastic, but it is not without its challenges.
The downside to this constant connection to technology is that we become so entangled in our relationship with smartphones that we forget about the real world.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is not something that we have no control over. It should be used to our benefit, but to a certain extent to avoid the downsides that could possibly affect society.
Technology is growing, it has the ability to do great things and so have human beings. It has become a race between technology and human beings.
To learn more about the Fourth Industrial Revolution and how this can impact your career choice, visit the Nelson Mandela Community Youth Centre in Chatsworth on April 13, 2019 from 9am to 2pm or contact Clive Pillay on
061 429 2574.
Venolan Govender is an IT student and volunteer at the Nelson Mandela Community Youth Centre in Chatsworth