The Fourth Industrial Revolution

I was originally skeptical about the idea of  a fourth industrial revolution, less than 50 years after the third industrial revolution when electronics and digital technology struck through the obstacles blocking global communication and shook the very foundation of workforce. Yet the frontier of technology and innovative research has been pushed with astonishing speed albeit its distance from the normal masses. Past mysteries questioned as occult are either refuted with solid science or brought forward for reevaluation from a brand new perspective, also with solid science. The speed and profundity of the breakthroughs have surpassed that of all previous centuries combined. So what marks the beginning of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, by World Economic Forum

The video defines the Fourth Industrial Revolution as a revolution on humans themselves , in contrast with the way they live their life which was altered by the energy revolutions before. During the first three Industrial Revolutions, steam engines, electricity, and computer and communications technology augmented the efficiency of production, burgeoned the market, and greatly enhanced global interaction. I vaguely summarize them as “expansion”. This large-scale expansion on means of society and industry stemmed out of human’s curiosity about a complex world. Yet the current one, not sharply defined, is turning out perspectives inward. We want a safer, healthier world instead of a fast-growing one. I was walking on the street one day when I saw solar panels on a rooftop. Pondering over my experience at a science fair a few years ago where I charged my phone from a simple solar panel circuit, I’m amazed to see that green energy is gradually entering common people’s daily life, becoming a functional technology rather than lab products. We begin to be able to understand ourselves like never before. Fascinating progress on brain research allows scientists to conduct preliminary experiment on how to communicate telepathically and visualize brain activity. After all, human brain is more complicated and intricate than any other element in the known universe.

You see, this inward progression of human life and global development is really one that is more closely related to us, the general public. It doesn’t mean that humans will stop challenging limits or testing waters. Instead, it might be a signal that the 21st century is viewing life in a more humanitarian way.


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