From intelligent robots and self-driven cars to gene dating and awesome 3D printing, drastic technological change is happening all around us. The fourth industrial revolution is underway, and, it aims at completely staggering our notion of life. It may very well be called the union of biological, physical and social spheres of life. Now a question arises, how exactly is it going to happen? Well, the answer is really simple, through the thing which has revolutionised industries as well as our social life, the computer and the internet.
The oldest computer was the size of a room with limited computing speed and capabilities. Look at the contrast now, we have a smartwatch which we can wear on your wrist and it can function as a calculator, a heart rate monitor, a speedometer, all the while you can also see what’s happening on your Facebook account. At present, 43% of the total population on earth uses the internet, mostly in the developed countries. The United Nations aims at connecting all the world’s inhabitants through affordable internet by 2020. This will allow everyone to have access to knowledge, information, global marketplaces which will give empowerment to many people to improve not only their living conditions but also to do something meaningful with their life.
Now, imagine super processor enabled device on your tips, available to all and capable of performing every computational task whether it is listening to music, making an online purchase or let us just make it better CONTROL REMOTE DEVICES while you sit in your bed and have a lovely baked pizza. Wonderful, isn’t it? Well, this may become a reality in years to come.
Whenever you google search, make online purchases, tweet, you leave behind a data trail that can be analysed and monetized. This is called BIG DATA. Well, think about a normal human brain monitoring all these people’s internet activities. Surely, it’s a near to impossible task. Well, thanks to supercomputers, all these data are easily monitored. Computers are already making big decisions based on this huge data and there is a growing notion that it is only a matter of a few years until a computer of processing power similar to a human brain is made. Think of it this way, there is good chance that you will be jobless in a few years and your job will be done by a computer in a far more efficient way.
Patient records, treatment plans, prescription information; when one’s health is the center of attention, everything needs to be done quickly, effectively and keeping in mind the medical regulations of the country or the organization. This sector can be hugely improved with the help of this technology and not only that; it will help in its improvement and further initiations. This is already evident from the fact that there are apps available on the internet to monitor your sleep, diet etc. In the future, we will have very detailed medical profiles.
Many of us think that 3D printer is limited to printing only small projects. Now think about a whole car being made from a 3D printer. Already many tissues, body parts are already in the process of being made using this technology. If the attempts are successful, it will completely revolutionise the medical industry.
Now, think of your shirt filled with sensors who monitor the environmental conditions and change accordingly. If the whole world is connected through the internet, you can have sensors placed on such things connected to the internet and the internet sends them the feedback. In other words, your shirt will be connected to the internet and the sensors placed on it will tell the shirt’s fibres to arrange themselves in a manner to suit the weather.
The potential benefits are great, but so are the challenges. There would be exciting possibilities to learn and grow. But, think would it at all be possible to remain offline in the future? How would it affect our personal and social life?