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What Really Is The 4th Industrial Revolution, And What Does It Mean For You?

By | Bernard Marr | Internationally best-selling author, keynote speaker, futurist, and strategic business & technology advisor

We’re in the midst of the 4th Industrial Revolution—exponential changes in the way we work, live, and interact with one another as a result of the combination of technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence intermingling with the physical world to create cyber-physical systems. It could be argued that the 4th Industrial Revolution, also known as Industry 4.0, was already evolving at an exponential rate, but as the world responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, the revolution accelerated. While many are anxious to “return to normal” post-pandemic, the reality is that we are creating a new normal. Let’s take a look at the changes the 4th Industrial Revolution is responsible for and how businesses must re-think their business models and also consider the skills individuals must focus on building to succeed in the new reality.

The 4th Industrial Revolution

Before there was Industry 4.0 or the 4th Industrial Revolution, there were industrial revolutions ushered in by steam and water power, electricity and assembly lines, and computerization. These revolutions dramatically altered businesses and lifestyles. The 4th is no different except that the disruption it brings will impact all disciplines, industries, and economies at an incredibly rapid velocity. This prompted Professor Klaus Schwab to write in his book The Fourth Industrial Revolution, “The changes are so profound that, from the perspective of human history, there has never been a time of greater promise or potential peril.”

The 4th Industrial Revolution is driven by technology that includes:

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