Week 1 Reading

Week 1

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Klaus Shwag

We are the generation of an ever changing media. During our time we have seen so many media outlets move to the web – it’s part of the evolution of life. New technologies, new inventions, new ways of acting and thinking. At it’s core, it is “supposed” to make our lives easier and better, however this is an entire 10,000 word debate in itself and I only have to write 250, so I’ll cover the most pertinent points I took away from Shwab’s work.

According to him, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will alter the way we think, live, work and communicate with one another, which it is and will continue to do so. Like for example with this reading, 10 years ago I would not have been staring at a computer screen, struggling to process the information before me. I woulde have been reading and annotating a physical paper. Whilst I know this can still be done, this is a perfect example of Shwab’s argument.  These are the “advancements” and “progressions” in technology, and what the Fourth Industrial Revolution encompasses.

Schwab begins by categorising these revolutions into three clusters as he calls them. Physical, digital and biological. Whether or not this revolution is strictly good or bad, he doesn’t say.

Our economy is ‘on-demand’. On demand information, on demand television, on demand access. Imagine the panic that would occur if people today were forced to wait for the dial up modem to connect, every time they wanted to check their instagram feed or transfer funds from one account to another, or heaven forbid, not use PayPass.

Whilst I found the article a little difficult to follow, I very much appreciate and agree with the prevalence and relevance of the fourth revolution, especially in media. I really liked Schwab’s point about how the internet, amongst other leading digital technologies, are so heavily influencing and changing the way businesses and companies are running. These ‘platform’ businesses which offer services created by entrepreneurs and people like you and me, are utter genius. Whilst reading, I began to think about how heavily I rely and utilise these services on a day to day basis. Real estate websites, online shopping or fashion trend blogs, second hand goods groups, airbnb (which I swear by), all just examples of the fourth industrial revolution that is taking place in front of us.

Like my career, I’m slightly anxious about the direction of technology and its effects, and I think Shwab’s predictions were bang on.

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