Media 6 Reading Week 1

The reading by Klaus Schwab looks at the analyses the opportunities and threats that could arise from the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The first chapter introduces the Megatrends and organizes them into three clusters: Physical, Digital and Biological. What is interesting about these three classifications is that they are all intertwined, as together they affect technological advancement as a whole. Here Schwab outlines the obvious improvements to one’s lifestyle future technology could provide, also highlighted by the table that represents specific tipping points expected by the year 2025. Schwab also discusses the type of work that Fourth Industrial Revolution could bring and the alterations it will have on a person’s relationship with work and the social fabric associated with it. Potential collaborators are not bound by geography anymore as this human cloud connects skilled people to those that seek such a group. Of course there are limitations to this as it this human cloud is only accessible to those with an internet connection and the knowledge to connect to others.

In the second chapter takes on three different perspectives on the Fourth Industrial Revolution as Schwab assesses the impact on; The National and Global, Society, and finally The Individual. The redefinition of how public institutions and organisations operate will inevitably bring disruptions. The ever shifting power dynamic between the government and the people it governs is an interesting aspect of Fourth Industrial Revolution as it allows anyone with access to the proper technology to have some influence over others. As things stand this may be minor power compared to the government’s but there sheer number of people that could potentially be in a position to influence others is increasing. The government needs to proactive not reactive in the technological landscape. The challenge of how to absorb and accommodate new modernity into a society as well as preserving traditional aspects that have given said society its identity. The rise of digital media provides people with a forum to voice their opinions and listen to others. This can be seen as empowerment but the sheer number of media outlets brings the risk of skewing the decision-making process as access to information is streamlined and catered to each individual. Fourth Industrial Revolution could also change a person’s identity and many other aspects of self such as sense of privacy, notions of ownership and consumption patterns. The inequality between those that adapt as opposed to those that resist technology will determine those that will succeed in this technology dependent society. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will not create the perfect or even the ideal world but it is an opportunity for people to grasp the opportunity of incoming change while others will be left behind.

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