The world sings a new song today, and that song is the 4th industrial revolution. Are we ready for technology to govern our daily lives? Are we prepared to give control of industries, businesses, economies, homes and even our lives to technology? Sure, it will be great to get systems to do our work but then what will we be left to do?
Let me take you back to how technology has disrupted our lives. We used to wait to get home to receive a phone call. Now we call from anywhere at any time. Let’s talk of social media that has changed the norms of society and how we communicate; even relationships got displaced. So, are we ready for technology to continue taking over? I recently saw a 3D printed house which took less than a day to build which is a massive disruption to the construction industry. This means we will no longer need construction workers and the construction industry happens to be one of the largest industries in the world.
I believe the 4th industrial revolution comes with both the good and the bad. We need to pace ourselves when it comes to adapting this phenomenon. The good thing is that we no longer have to wait hours for a taxi to come or months to build a house or to rely on intuition when to plant and the kind of plant to grow. The 4th industrial revolution has brought these amazing developments. Recently, the first ear bone transplant was carried out, and the bones were 3D printed, and in no time, we will be getting 3D printed hearts and other organs. The 4th Industrial Revolution brings all these developments. Of course, these developments are exciting, but at what cost do they come? More jobs which have always been scarce will be lost. What does this mean for human beings, our economies and all other life factors?
I suggest we pace ourselves and start adopting these changes slowly. Already these disruptive technologies had brought real challenges, for example, the jobs lost in Kenya when Uber was introduced or the threat of cryptocurrency and blockchain to the financial institutes. Adopting cryptocurrency means we will no longer need physical money. What of farmers in Africa that cannot afford sensors to start smart farming? Does this mean we are promoting companies to monopolize industries? What of those left behind?
Let’s adopt these technologies slowly without displacing humanity because before we know it, we will find out that we have wiped humanity out using technology.
By Tlamelo Cindy Melemo
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