The Robots are Coming!
The term the fourth industrial revolution has been coined to describe the developing environment in which new and disruptive technologies and trends, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) are impacting the way we live and work. In the year 2000, the average person’s attention span was 12 seconds, in 2019 that became just 8 seconds. In 19 years we’ve lost 4 seconds of concentration as a species, but what does that mean for the future?
You may not have heard of The Internet of Things, but it’s all around us. It’s best described as an interrelated system of computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, people, and animals fitted with a unique identifier and with the ability to transmit data, without outside interaction from humans or other computer-based devices. Examples of these types of systems are already found in everyday life and include things such as smart electronic appliances, thermostats and, of course, cars. More radical examples include Smart manufacturing/factories and Lights out (manufacturing) also known as dark factories.
It’s been predicted that by the year 2034, 47% of all jobs will be automated, but 15 million new types of jobs will be created. Over the next 14 years, there will need to be a shift in how we approach work and a lot of reskilling will need to take place to meet the demand for these types of new roles.
The determining factor of this revolution is the pace of the change. The combination of the speed of technological development and, as a result, the socio-economic impact, and changes to previous infrastructures connected to human life, mark a transition to a new and definable era. Some of this technology is already deeply embedded, with the use of GPS systems, more advanced human to machine interfaces, authentication and fraud detection, 3D printing, Smart sensors and big data analytics and advanced algorithms.
How Can We Protect Our Data?
By 2030 there will 50 billion devices connected to the internet, so how do we keep our information secure and stop the fridge from being hacked for your personal data. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, has taken matters back into his own hands by drawing up a 'Contract for the Web', which is intended to govern the behaviour of internet giants, such as Google and Facebook, and also governments worldwide. The contract describes itself as "a global plan of action to make our online world safe and empowering for everyone". The outline is based heavily on removing fake news and protecting individual privacy within the virtual world.
Manpower recently conducted a global survey of 9,500 people in 12 countries, which found NextGen work patterns - part-time, freelance, contract, temporary or independent contract work - is on the rise. It also established, more than 80% of those working said that NextGen Work is a choice, not a last resort, and builds resilience for less predictable futures as the world of work changes.
10,000 baby boomers retire every day and many are not content with giving up work on a full-time basis. Many are using the things they’ve learned to run successful part-time ventures which provide a passive income or allows them to share their knowledge with the wider community.
When it comes to Millenials they’re looking for more flexible hours and salary isn’t the be-all and end-all, they to be connected and engaged with their working life. The hyper-connectedness Millenials have grown up with, has given them a more global outlook and they will, inevitably, shape the future of work in combination with the “robot” technologies around them.
The world of work is definitely changing and the fourth industrial revolution has truly begun!