The Next Industrial Revolution Is Rising In Japan

2018-05-21 16:53:46      View:

The Next Industrial Revolution Is Rising In Japan 

It wasnĄ¯t too long ago that the concept of carrying a sophisticated computer, camera and phone, all rolled into one gadget fitting in your pocket, was the stuff of science fiction. Now smartphones are everywhere and theyĄ¯re getting smarter all the time. Imagine when your phone will be able to diagnose most of your medical problems for you based on artificial intelligence (AI) in the cloud, saving you a trip to the doctor. The app could issue a diagnosis and a prescription, and your local pharmacy could 3D-print your medicine. That isnĄ¯t a far-fetched fantasy ¨C itĄ¯s part of the not-too-distant future.

This exciting new frontier is part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), a period of rapid change driven by progress in science and technology. But for many, the notion of smart machines is a source of fear, evoking the evil Skynet AI from The Terminator film franchise. Will smart machines take over our jobs and our society? Japan and the World Economic Forum (WEF) firmly believe that will not happen. They are committed to the prospect of the revolution producing a caring, high-tech, human-centered society in which people will live healthy, productive lives with less fear about disruptions caused by technology.

We are now in the early stage of the 4IR. ItĄ¯s merging digital, physical and biological systems and will raise our standard of living. The original Industrial Revolution was powered by the discovery of the steam engine. The second and third industrial revolutions saw electricity give rise to mass production, and computers and communication technologies unleashing the digital age. Now the Fourth Industrial RevolutionĄ¯s main drivers are AI, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT), powerful technologies that are often the subject of controversy and fear. ItĄ¯s clear that we have to take a proactive role and shape the revolution so that it results in the kind of society we want to live in.