The 4th Industrial Revolution is here. There is no way to avoid it, and knowledge is the path to assimilation…I mean, preparation.

What do you do for a living? Are you a line worker in a factory or do you sit at a computer all day and input data? Are you a mechanical engineer or maybe a medical professional? Is your job, or even (gasp) your profession safe as this industrial revolution steams forward? Who will be affected and to what extent?

Short answer – everyone. We will be affected in all aspects of our lives – we already are. (Leaving society and living in a cave off the grid notwithstanding). IOT has made ordering items online with a simple voice request a new norm. The idea that our devices are listening to us is scary – but haven’t you ever thought “Why isn’t there a store with my name on it where everything is just for me with all of the things I love?” or, “Wouldn’t it be nice if when this product ran out a new one showed up in its place!”.

The system is being built and it only requires critical thinking to operate it. While AI will help us, it can’t and won’t do it all. Just like in your line operation position, you may now need to understand the robot working alongside you and know how to problem solve system errors and the inevitable malfunctions. Operating surgeons. Yes, they will be using the da Vinci’s of the medical robot world, but they will still need to know the finer points of their medical specialty. At least for now.

So, how much do you know about the technologies that will dominate this revolution?

+   Biotechnology

+   Robotics (smart dust- look it up!)

+   3D printing

+   New materials (Graphene)

+   Internet of things – IoT (Are you listening right now Alexa?)

+   Energy capture, storage, and transmission (Photovoltaic Transparent Glass)

+   Artificial intelligence – AI

+   Blockchain applications

+   New computational technologies

+   Virtual and augmented reality

It will be impossible to NOT be affected. Don’t panic! Change does not mean a complete upheaval of life as we know it.  In fact, next to death and taxes, change is a constant – the true question is, how will you embrace it? Thriving in the 4IR will mean adaption for all of us. The reality is that some will need to adapt more than others. Our next blog will highlight a few professions in question!

Want to know what the professionals are saying? Check out this podcast with

Anne Marie Engtoft Larsen – Knowledge Lead, Science and Technology Studies,  World Economic Forum Geneva