An engineer who is studying the technology boom that is already greatly affecting American Manufacturing wrote an insightful article about the coming changes.
Here is an excerpt.
The fourth industrial revolution focuses on artificial intelligence, big data, the internet of things and other emerging technologies that fuse the physical, digital and biological worlds.
How impactful it will be compared with previous revolutions is open to speculation. But we’ve already seen a glimpse of a world in which self-driving cars, personalized medicine and humans working alongside robots are likely to be the norm.
While some of these technological advancements may be rejected – Google Glass anyone? – there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future. Our ability to detect and treat serious diseases will improve. Autonomous vehicles could make our roads safer while reducing congestion and pollution. More robots mean fewer humans performing dull, dangerous and dirty jobs.
Like previous industrial revolutions, these changes will cause socioeconomic and cultural shifts. Some argue the pace of these shifts will increase compared with previous revolutions. Others worry the less fortunate will be left behind and are making plans, such as universal basic income, to ameliorate negative consequences.