The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the 4IR

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the 4IR

The World Economic Forum has predicted that the 4IR might start in 2025. Today we are preparing the path for that to occur, and it seems that we are going at a really good pace, which is good, and bad!

The good:

We will have everything that we have been dreaming about, autonomous cars, hyper-connectivity, real-time analytics, blockchain, robots, mature machine learning, etc. This is really good, it will improve our lives to have strong analytics, with accurate insights about our finances, health, education and more.

On the other hand, we have a fully evolved IoT, assistants and complex sensors that will make our in-house experience even better, just ask for it! and not only when at home but everywhere.

Blockchain will bring a lot of security when performing transactions, it will give us the opportunity to track products all the way back to its source even, manufacturing will be renewed with better robots, and processes, in general, will get better with the help of machine learning, let’s call it AI to use some buzz words!

Researchers will have access to better data tools, tools that will provide enough data to improve the way we live. Our mobility will change forever! and the new generation getting born right now won’t need to worry about spending the day at the DMV to get a driver’s license no more, that will be a thing of the past, as long with IDs and so many other things that will come in the next 10 or so years.

In short, we will make our lives easier and even better, but everything comes with a price.

The bad:

You might say that the creation of new and specialized jobs is a good thing, but the truth is that not everybody has the skill set to adapt to all those new jobs, so yes, we will lose thousands of jobs in areas that are easily impacted by robotics and automation, a lot are already being automated and we are not even there yet!

Our lives will become a dataset somewhere (even more than now), and this will impact our privacy greatly, even our identity.

The ugly:

Equality within the country will increase and don’t even mention compared to other countries that are less privileged. The privacy issues, along with lack of timely legislation will make corporations take advantage of people, and craft solutions for every individual to make them buy more, or even worse, to restrict them more.

AI will dominate our decisions, and most of our daily routines will somewhat be manipulated by whoever is owning the data, that at the end is not you!

Who said UBI (Universal Basic Income)?

This, even it sounds lovely, it is bad, or even terrible side-effect of this new resolution. Since a lot of people simply will become unemployable, they will need to rely on the government for this basic income, which should help them cover their also basic expenses, this particular part will change the way our mind thinks about working and reward systems. Now, this won’t be forever, there is no system that will maintain such burden, so as we move forward, governments around the globe will need to impose 1 child policies or no-child policies at all, so if you are a good deserving citizen, maybe you can get a baby prescription in the future, now, this last part might happen probably on Industry 5.0, when we will see, if what we did work or not!

Entering into this Data-centric society has a lot of good, but also a lot of risks and negative impacts. It is determinant to have a clear playbook on how all this will work, legislation needs to change now in preparedness for this future.

Learning from mistakes, in this case, it is a total loss and can impact our lives and the lives of our future generations forever.

In neuro-economics there is a concept called “Hyperbolic discounting”, that in short is this human behavior to get a reward now instead of later, even if the later reward is bigger!, I think that this behavior is so deep in us, that apply the same logic for everything else, not only money, but technology as well. We have races to see who gains the AI supremacy, supercomputing supremacy, we develop new technologies and only put them on the market without any risk assessment, just for the sake to be the first, just to discover later that you might have fooled yourself. 

Legislation, trust, and transparency are key to have a nice entry in the 4IR and a better introduction to the 5IR. 

By: Marco Aguero

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