The Fourth Industrial Revolution — a global transitioning to a new set of systems and the integration of digital and physical technologies — is upon us. Processing is rising exponentially, knowledge is becoming accessible to more people and information gathering is at an all-time high. Over the years, we’ve seen information technology have an increased role in the furtherance of humanity’s cause for innovation and digital evolution. With new technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, energy storage and quantum computing, the future holds even greater potential for human development.
Infotech Is Breaking Boundaries
The ubiquitous nature of information technology and its integration into virtually every facet of daily living has brought it within proximity of otherwise personal data. From social media networks to credit card companies, banks and government agencies, virtually every organization maintains a database of personal user data facilitated by infotech.
While these data sets are, for the most part, kept in good faith, cases of a breach and subsequent exploitation for personal gains are not unheard of. Facebook’s recent fallout with Cambridge Analytica, a company thought to have retrieved sensitive data for use in electioneering and manipulation, gives credence to this fact.
Machine Learning Is The Next Space Race
Machine intelligence, a derivative of infotech, is taking center stage in the plans of many nations. With China, the U.S. and Russia all realizing its importance, this budding field of technology promises to bolster a competitive advantage in a variety of settings. Its applications are practically limitless, but one area that always generates curiosity is the role it has to play in advanced warfare. Machine intelligence has the potential to redefine strategy formulation, bolster surveillance, facilitate coordinated warfare and predict enemy strategies. Autonomous weapons with heightened lethality are already being developed, and it probably won’t be long before we see entire wars being played out on a battlefield populated by robots.Infotech Is Also Taking World Productivity To The Next Level
On a much more positive note, infotech is contributing its quota to the global drive to ramp up productivity. The proliferation and advancements of communications, data management and management information systems have bolstered productivity in the workplace setting. Automated systems are changing how things are produced while improving production efficiency. In regard to the United States’ oil and gas sector, for instance, cloud computing, 3-D seismic modeling and big data, have all made it possible for drill companies to find and access oil deposits easily. This is a reality that produced a 50% and 100% rise in gas and oil outputs, respectively.
Overall, advancements in infotech and its associated derivatives are expected to further escalate growth both in monetary and developmental terms. Increased returns in the financial world potentiated by infotech has, on the other hand, led to calls for better taxations in the sector. Just recently, the EU proposed legislation that aims to pull in more tax returns from the world’s infotech ecosphere. The EU action provides a subtle reflection of the world’s view toward infotech: We are ready to adapt to whatever new dimensions it presents to us.
The impact new technologies are having on entire systems of production, management and governance is causing disruption across all major industries. Industries have to rapidly adapt or perish. While these advancements bring many benefits, they can also carry risks. These new advancements have the ability to affect society and drive growth if they are utilized well, but if not handled appropriately, detrimental effects such as privacy issues, threats of cyberattacks that expand into multiple industries, and more — could occur. Countries and industries that embrace these technologies must have sound strategies to deal with and properly use information technology advancements.