The fourth industrial revolution, or industry 4.0, is different from the one that preceded. This is because the fourth industrial revolution challenges our ideas about what it means to be human.
The World Economic Forum states that the fourth industrial revolution, also known as the digital revolution, represents a fundamental change in how we live, work, and relate to each other.
The 4IR is a fusion of advances in artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things, 3D printing, quantum computing, genetic engineering, virtual reality, robotics, machine learning, and other technologies. The change is everywhere — think about the GPS systems suggesting the fastest routes, personalized Netflix recommendations, virtual assistants with voice-activation like Siri, Facebook’s face recognition and automatic tagging technology, etc.
Today, we’ll discuss five disrupting technologies driving transformative changes in the fourth industrial revolution.
5 technologies driving change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
1. Big Data and ML
The IT industry now has the ability to extract, load, and transform large amounts of data that surpasses the previous capabilities by a large percentage. The value, however, does not lie in quantity but in what organizations can extract from it. Through machine learning, this data can be used in predictive analysis and support businesses in decision-making.
Data and ML combined can predict futuristic customer behavior by detecting patterns in data sets and conclude the probability of certain outcomes. For example, you can predict the likelihood of:
- an individual buying a specific product,
- a patient contracting a certain disease,
- someone getting influenced by an economic trend, etc.
Furthermore, big data and AI can be of massive help to SEO professionals as they:
- get insights into future SEO trends,
- know how to structure their digital marketing campaigns,
- will be able to predict the conversion rates and tweak their strategies to bring in maximum conversions.
Therefore, brands need to ensure that relevant data gets collected from different sources like website analytics, click-through rates, bounce rates, visitor demographics, etc.
2. Blockchain Technology
Blockchain is a decentralized way of recording and sharing data without relying on third-party intermediaries. It was initially introduced just for the digital transfer of money. However, lately, it has become a robust technology used for many purposes.
It is believed that blockchain will dramatically transform commerce across every industry, including finance, legal service, healthcare, eCommerce, and more. The decentralization makes it secure and transparent for a lot of tasks like:
- Record keeping — ideal for maintaining health records, fitness tracking, education records, etc.
- Facilitating fund transfers securely for the fintech industry.
- Knowledge sharing through a decentralized open-source wiki network.
- Eliminating the risk of fraud and identity theft.
Multiple advertising platforms use blockchain technology to provide secure, transparent advertising transactions worldwide. Companies can provide a stable, market-driven economic foundation by managing the buying and selling of ads through blockchain platforms.
It enables secure transactions for all parties, accurate, real-time data reporting, and a dramatic reduction in ad fraud.
3. Artificial Intelligence – AI
AI refers to the ability of machines to learn and act intelligently. This enables them to make decisions, carry out tasks, and predict future outcomes. If there’s something that AI is affecting the most—it has to be the customer support industry.
AI-based, human-assisted chatbots are changing the way customers interact with businesses. AI is constantly trying to elevate the customer experience. It is in our everyday lives— be it Google searches, Amazon’s product recommendations, personalized suggestions on Netflix and Spotify, and so on.
AI is also the foundation of many other technology trends, such as:
- Facial recognition
- Voice assistants like Alexa
- Live chats and 24*7 support
It plays a crucial role in improving customer experience and loyalty. Incorporating human-assisted AI in customer service enables human agents to focus on other complex issues, while AI is used to improve productivity rates and response times.
4. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
AR and VR are two essential technologies for the transition to Industry 4.0. Both use virtual environments or elements, in reality, to provide information in an optimized manner. Virtual reality offers immersive experiences using a VR headset that can stimulate the real world. Augmented reality, on the other hand, merges the digital and physical worlds.
With apps like Pokemon Go, L’Oréal’s makeup app, Google lens, etc., AR/VR has made an impact on the mobile app space. Plus, there are many websites that now leverage the power of VR and AR to deliver one-of-a-kind immersive user experiences.
As a result, more and more web design teams or companies are trying to use one of these immersive technologies in their projects.
AR and VR offer tons of benefits for businesses if implemented correctly. For instance:
- Immersive and interactive content can boost engagement rates and conversion.
- AR and VR experiences are more memorable and can help a brand stand out.
- It empowers consumers to explore and experience a product virtually.
- It enables customers to make confident buying decisions.
5. Internet of Things – IoT
IoT technology is designed to establish a connection between the digital and physical worlds. IoT can be implemented in everyday items — from home automation devices and medical wearables to parcel tracking devices.
It has revolutionized numerous industries and interconnected billions of devices. It can be connected to the internet and is identifiable by other devices. Besides, it enables businesses to collect customer data and better gauge how customers perceive their products and services. Businesses can then tweak their marketing campaigns accordingly.
The above-mentioned technologies present both; immense opportunities and challenges for stakeholders in all industries. These technologies have the potential to drive innovation and social disruption. Such technologies are also likely to shape the industrial revolution as it happens.