Guest post by John Hawthorne
Times are changing and they are changing at breakneck speed which makes it impossible to keep up. Every day there seem to be new scientific discoveries and technological advances which are taking us into a brand new era. No one quite knows what the physiologic impact will be which is exciting and scary at the same time.
The industrial revolutions started off at a snail’s pace compared to today with the invention of the steam engine printing press in the 18th century starting it off. The one invention led to others using the technology in different ways that profoundly changed society for good.
The second revolution was the invention of electricity and its expansion around the world happened much faster than steam but compared with modern day society it was still extremely slow. During this time both World War 1 and 2 took places which started a technological arms race that caused mass destruction on a scale never seen before and hopefully never again.
The third revolution is where we are at today and is known as the digital revolution. It was the invention of the computer and internet that completely changed the whole world. All parts of the globe are affected by this and no matter where you go you will find someone with a smartphone connected to the internet.
We are now on the verge of the fourth revolution with the introduction of AR technology which merges the real world with the digital world. It doesn’t just stop there however as we are for the first time experiencing exponential growth in every industry affected by technology and science. Robotics is advancing quickly along with artificial intelligence which will mean at some point in the near future most of the workforce will be redundant. The list of technologies that are going to completely change society is huge with advances happening in fields such as 3D printing, nanotechnology and stem cell research that will impact the whole world.
Even money is going through a major change as we speak with the rise of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain. The technology behind digital money has many different implications which will mean that far fewer people are needed to do administrative work in fields such as banking, accounting, and government. Computers are able to deal with processes on mass and offer 100% accurate results which human operators can not.
In the fourth revolution, we are going to see the most profound changing and it will be the computer not man that starts making the decisions. It the not too distant future we are all going to have a choice of which world to choose, the real one of the artificially created one where your wildest dreams can come true. Soon you will be able to become a superhero like a superman and fly around the world with it feeling as real as reality itself. The matrix is here and it will be up to us to choose if we want to take the blue pill or red pill?
Prepared and edited by @EdinaZejnilovic, Journalism Student at DCU.