Democratizing Innovation for The Fourth Industrial Revolution

from The Stillman Disruption Journal

One of the highlights in Professor John Shannon’s Disruption course at Seton Hall University was when Frank Diana came in to speak. Frank is the lead futurist for Tata Consultancy Services, and he makes his living speaking to leaders and executives around the world about the ways that technology will likely disrupt the foundations of the way we live. These changes have been labeled appropriately as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which invites comparison to the three previous technology driven transformations of the same name. Frank’s presentation begins with a walk-through history, how transformation has impacted society previously, and followed up with an explanation of how it will change what we are seeing today. His presentation is what inspired me to write this piece. Looking back to the past is sometimes one of the best ways to understand the future. It is also an invaluable resource for ensuring that the same mistakes are not repeated.

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Posted in Future Thinking, Ideas, Innovation and tagged , , .

5 Comments

  1. I would hope this is what the disruption course with Shannon would be. A back and forth intelligent conversation about what could happen based on trends. The article raises valid points, even to say his view of part of the answer to solving a huge problem that technology could cause very soon. As a history nerd, I love his touch and comparison to the gilded age in America to today’s world. The similarities between the two are unsettling. The robber barons of yesterday are the same as today with two differences, the names and the money involved. The solution to this is very difficult as they have become big names in our stock market and even bigger names around the world. These companies take out the competition in a legal manner allowing them to grow bigger in size. Facebook dominates social media, Amazon dominates online retail, and Disney will dominate the media sector. At what point is it enough. Before reading this article I never thought once that this could be more problematic. I thought it was just smart people making smart decisions. Now I see how this could hurt a lot of people. At the end of the article he leaves us with wondering what is the right question, is it how we can keep everyone up to speed in regards to technology, do we try to suppress this technological use in the markets to protect workers, what is the right question to ask here? If we go based on keeping everyone up to date with technology, then what he says in the essay is a brilliant start. The democratization of tech is on the surface pointing in the right direction. Here’s the problem with that. Technology can have more harm than good on us because it can make us less creative. Reality is it doesn’t take much thought to push a button on a computer, plus digital distraction eliminates creativity. For example, two people have 30 min, one who uses that time to watch a how-to video on drawing a rose and the other just draws the rose, assuming they both have the same artistic experience. Yes, the how-to video person will most likely draw a better rose, but it would be the same as the other person who saw that same how-to video. the person who just drew the rose has his own creativity embedded into it, no one will draw the exact same rose he did. He is more creative because he solved the problem himself. See technology brings us advantages like that, but it will also kill our creativity. It locks us into looking at the world the same way. This problem is also seen in the k-12 education systems, we are taught to always follow a set rule book. Personally, I don’t think to give everyone the same up to date tech is the answer. Yes, it helps by keeping people up to date, but it will not solve the creativity aspect. He says that there is no right answer, I agree, but then how we can better ourselves based on the trends if there is no answer? Would we also prepare for the long term and forget the short-term games? Despite my being in the foundation’s course for Professor Shannon he has already shown how I should be thinking differently. In the next semester I’m sure the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19 will be a hot topic, but what about the technology aspect. Would smartphones and laptops in the coming years be geared more for video conferencing, how will this affect blue-collar jobs like construction and mechanics, and what will happen to these big tech companies come back to the states from overseas.

  2. The future in my opinion is scary. I do not know if I am ready for it and I think that is ok. This post by Andrew Kuttin proves my point. We are living in a time where Bezoz, Gates, and Zuckerberg are the new Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Vanderbilt. Facebook alone terrifies me. The scandals Facebook goes through and the amount of information they have on everyone is insane. These leaders have made amazing companies that people are not willing to leave. They know this and take advantage. The fact that AI is suspected to replace 40% of the jobs in the next 15 years is wild. Technology just makes me uncomfortable, maybe its because my eyes are sensitive to light but still, we are in uncharted territory. The amount of change we have gone through within the last 20 years has been so quick and it is all I have ever known. Technology becomes outdated all the time, and you have to continuously keep up, you need to watch the news just to keep up with tech. What is sad is that I know no one is going to stop creating and furthering technology. I just think we are too reliant on it. What I mean by this is that when I grew up and was in elementary school, the most technology my friends and I would use is the tv and maybe play club penguin on the computer for an hour. Middle school was a completely different story, almost everyone had an iPhone and we all had Instagram, Snapchat and Vine. We would spend hours just scrolling through our phones, and the internet is a weird place for kids. Then came high school where most assignments where digitized and screen time came out. I was spending 9 hours a day on my phone, my friends where at 12, and my cousin who was in 6th grade was at 21 hours. It’s disgusting the effect social media has had on younger generations. I understand when people say technology is now necessary and new jobs will be created, and I get that. It’s just that when I think of technology, I think of what I, and my peers use every day and it’s so new that it is unregulated. While technology provides a lot of good, I think it is harming and has harmed a lot of kids these days. It was so new parents did not think much of it, while their kids were being promoted Fit Tea and Gfuel.

  3. This article really puts into large perspective concerning the rapid rise of the technology that consumes our world today. For someone being born and growing up within the last two decades, it’s incredible to grow up in an era with rapid technological advancements and growth. I am only 22 years old but if I had to go back and list the amount of applications, devices, and other technological concepts that I have used in any and all contexts, it would definitely take a while. With this rapid transformation can surely bring later possible problems as seen highlighted in the Disruption presentation. One of these problems is the prospect of AI in the workforce. Seeing AI replace a good percentage of job positions in a field as time goes on would be quite surreal and a big wake up call to many to adjust. The line, “We have all seen, read, or heard the dystopian tales of an automation and inequality driven future, which are becoming less fictitious with each passing day,” really jumps at me, as these fantasy hypotheticals that we have been questioning over the years about automation and technology is making the turn to reality. Personally, I’m not surprised by it, because it is inevitable that our world dwell continue to surprise and evolve its own technological resources and capabilities, but to see it rapidly progress now with the implications that is at the hands of it can be concerning. It’s quite the time, a time to adjust and start adapting in my opinion. I personally need to. I need to buy the ticket and hop on the train before the wave that new tech brings passes me by and that train does not stop for no one because of how quickly technology seems to develop. If not, then up to 40% of current workers could be projected to lose their occupations. Overall, the prospect of future can be scary, but with acknowledgment, acceptance, and conversation regarding this technology will only help our universal adaptation in the problems and processes that will e brought as a result to new revolving technology.

  4. Automation is part of the fourth industrial revolution. Automation is scary and magnificent at the same time there are self driving trucks and are being tested. It’s amazing that jobs are evolving but it’s scary the people that work those jobs would adapt. In history people have adapted to different industrial revolutions but many did not and those that did not adapt or evolve with technology saw themselves ruins. It’s not only people that got ruined but companies that also suffer the same results for failing to adapt to the newest technologies. As the article explains that Jobs are going to evolve and only 5% of jobs would disappear as automation progresses, but people do not always adapt because some are comfortable with what they have been doing. There are people that can not just learn new stuff because some are receptive to change and from those that actually try to adapt, some will fail to adapt quickly to the changes. Many jobs would be automotive and many leaders would say to adapt, to learn software, to learn how to code. But like previously stated, not many are able and not many want to. Many have only known how to do a certain job for so long that when it’s taken from them it is like taking their purpose from life.

  5. Automation is part of the fourth industrial revolution. Automation is scary and magnificent at the same time there are self driving trucks and are being tested. It’s amazing that jobs are evolving but it’s scary the people that work those jobs would adapt. In history people have adapted to different industrial revolutions but many did not and those that did not adapt or evolve with technology saw themselves ruins. It’s not only people that got ruined but companies that also suffer the same results for failing to adapt to the newest technologies. As the article explains that Jobs are going to evolve and only 5% of jobs would disappear as automation progresses, but people do not always adapt because some are comfortable with what they have been doing. There are people that can not just learn new stuff because some are receptive to change and from those that actually try to adapt, some will fail to adapt quickly to the changes. Many jobs would be automotive and many leaders would say to adapt, to learn software, to learn how to code. But like previously stated, not many are able and not many want to. Many have only known how to do a certain job for so long that when it’s taken from them it is like taking their purpose from life.

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