“Grant me the ability to be alone, may it be my custom to go outdoors each day among the trees and grasses among all growing things and there may I be alone, and enter into prayer to talk with the one that I belong to.”
–Rabbi Nachman of Breslov
Covid-19 is an eye opener for the fourth industrial revolution. This pandemic has virtually challenged the preparedness of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) and its future, if it has one. Customers who shopped in retail stores and shops for essential products like soap, sanitizers and toilet paper found bare shelves. Employees who were working from home turned to the internet also experienced delays, while e-commerce companies simultaneously saw tremendous jumps in traffic which they were not able to manage. Many customers reported multiple shipment delays since lockdowns complicated delivery as well as production and logistics. Online retail giants posted updates about service suspensions in affected areas.
Unlike the common perception of capitalism, the focus of 4IR / Industry 4.0 must be connected capitalism. This is why 4IR looks more evolutionary than revolutionary. We need to innovate and create renewable energy, water and purification solutions, waste recycling solutions, healthcare products and waste recycling and management. This is only possible with globalisation. This planet cannot exist if we continue to define boundaries based on Anti-Semitism, Racism and Religious hatred. Thus we all must collaborate and evolve.
Digitization cannot succeed unless this planet has a plan to depopulate in the coming decades. The corona-virus outbreak will speed up the adoption of the fourth industrial revolution. Digitization will extensively use Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data Analytics, Nanotechnology and other advanced sciences that are yet to be explored. The core concepts of 4IR are smart manufacturing, smart factory, dark factories, and industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology. All these concepts will lead to rapid automation and loss of traditional jobs, such that Universal Basic Income could become mandatory in most of the countries, until excess human population is under control, hopefully in the next few decades.
Thought leaders and thinkers will be in demand to drive the fourth industrial revolution. Large scale automation in manufacturing processes will drastically minimize the dependency on human workers, giving the opportunity to industrialists to reduce humans without downsizing production. A post coronavirus-scenario is a survival challenge for manufacturers and job-seekers.
Changes triggered by COVID-19 could last for years or decades, if the crisis worsens. The long-term goal is to minimize the damage to the business. Companies which are likely to become ignorant of the fact that automation cannot survive without universal basic income for the jobs it destroys, will not survive in the long run. The pandemic’s silver lining is the chance to make global leaders think and give them one last chance to stop the sixth mass extinction on planet earth. This planet needs to create jobs so that the industry survives and at the same time take measures to control human overpopulation.
Robotics assisted by Artificial Intelligence will play a key role in a post Covid world. Industrial robotics, self-driven cars, ships & spacecrafts, video camera assisted tracking and monitoring and Raas (robotics-as-a-service) will gain importance. This explosion in innovation might stop without thought leaders, creation of jobs as well as universal basic income. If we cannot plan the next 20 years, we might throw humankind into uncharted waters where few might survive with great difficulty.
We humans are largely mediocre beings who purposefully—and at scale—adapt the environment to our needs, at the cost of our own extinction. Scientists have called our current epoch “the Anthropocene” because humans are the overwhelming force shaping the planet’s ecosystems. Hence, those who successfully adapt won’t just thrive in the accelerated 4IR—they will shape it in favour of green technology and sustainability.
Thanks to pixabay.com for the lovely images!