Will you survive the 4th Industrial Revolution?

Let’s be clear. Robots are not gunning for our jobs. But they will very soon be gunning for the jobs that many of our parents and grandparents did.

While tech companies continue to protest that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies won’t take away human jobs in the near future, the very obvious reality is that they will.

In 15 years’ time, by the early 2030s, even the most conservative predictions foresee that most tasks that are repetitive, monotonous or easily-automated will be done by AI and robots.

We are on the precipice of what the World Economic Forum calls the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This new era will be defined by AI, automation, ubiquitous connectivity, mobile supercomputing, smart cities and self-driving cars. Medical science will be revolutionised by neuro-technological brain enhancements and genetic editing.

Preparing for massive societal upheavals

This revolution brings with it exciting possibilities, new solutions to global challenges, and employment opportunities for jobs that have yet to be invented.

“These changes are coming, and we need to tell the truth and the whole truth,” argues tech entrepreneur Kai-Fu Lee, founder and CEO of Sinovation Ventures and president of the Sinovation Ventures Artificial Intelligence Institute.

“We need to find the jobs that AI can’t do and train people to do them. We need to reinvent education. Tech companies should stop pretending AI won’t destroy jobs. No matter what anyone tells you, we’re not ready for the massive societal upheavals on the way.”

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Alongside exponential population growth and climate change, the growth of AI is going to fundamentally transform the world over the next decade, particularly, as Lee argues, because “it will soon be obvious that half our tasks can be done better at almost no cost by AI”.

“This will be the fastest transition humankind has experienced, and we’re not ready for it,” Lee adds, ominously.

Reinventing Education for Industry 4.0

The truth is that AI is going to displace millions of jobs over the next ten to twenty years, which is exactly why education and edtech have to be focused on preparing pupils and students to do those jobs that AI cannot do.  

Exciting possibilities are opening up for those young people entering the job market who are both highly technical and capable of creative problem solving, social communication and emotion-centred interactions. Which is also why the humanities and the liberal arts are going to be even more important in defining the future of AI.

“Languages, art, history, economics, ethics, philosophy, psychology and human development courses can teach critical, philosophical and ethics-based skills that will be instrumental in the development and management of AI solutions,” write Microsoft president Brad Smith and executive vice president of AI and research Harry Shum, in their new book The Future Computed.

A radical new educational philosophy

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Automation demands a radical new educational philosophy. One in which from school through to university and then throughout our careers we are continually learning how to creatively use and best adapt to the latest technological developments.  

“Education needs to change: our esteemed institutions are churning out many graduates with impractical degrees,” writes celebrated British inventor James Dyson, whose company has recently built its own university to cope with the woeful engineering talent shortages in the UK right now.

“65 per cent of children entering primary school today will end up working in roles that don’t yet exist. Yet education is increasingly an expensive choice with uncertain outcomes. Understandably, students are beginning to question the value of education.”

At pi-top we are committed to designing learning experiences that foster creative, collaborative thinking. Our approach is to encourage learners to work together to solve interesting real-world challenges and to empower them to gain the skills they need to thrive in life.

If you’d like to find out more about how ‘learning by making’ with pi-top can help you, your students and your school, get in touch here.

34 Comments

  1. In this fourth revolution, we are facing a range of new technologies that combine the physical, digital and biological worlds. These new technologies will impact all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenge our ideas about what it means to be human.

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  2. Artificial intelligence and new technological developments are rapidly taking over many jobs that humans rely on right now. We need to be able to research and educate ourselves on fields of work that cannot be done by computers. Humans will be imperative to the future of our economy in order to maintain ethics and humanistic philosophy in a growing digital world. This is important to our class because our future education should be chosen in a way that reflects the changes happening in society and in our jobs. We need to make sure that we are preparing for the growth of some careers and the decline of others to prevent our way of life from being taken away from us.

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  3. I think we will be able to survive the 4th industrial revolution. As jobs are taken by AI, new ones will be created. We will be able to adapt to the changes by learning how to engage in technical and creative jobs that will be made in the future.

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  4. With technology advancing everyday, careers involving less tedious tasks will be replaced by artificial intelligence and robotics. This means that the young people in school today need to prepare for the technological shift. The growth of the computer science industry will be in high demand, and schools should be implementing more software to prepare their students. Real world problem solving skills will become much more useful than the basic information already taught in a standard school. Being able to apply these skills will be imperative to surviving in the upcoming advancements.

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  5. With the rapid advancement of technology, society has become complacent, dependent on AI for basic tasks. This new revolution, however, forces the world to face a disturbing truth: technology is now replacing humanity, and its a change the world is not prepared to accept.

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  6. In my opinion, we will survive the 4th revolution, but many changes will happen to do so. In the future, AI definitely has the potential to take over many jobs, but a solution to this to make jobs that AI cannot take over. For this solution, there will need to be many changes made to education that are possible.

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  7. While it is true that the age of AI and technology will replace some jobs, it will never replace humans entirely. Jobs in the technology industry will grow, but jobs in the arts will grow also. This will be because robots and AI can’t be creative; they can only do what they’re told to do.

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  8. I think that i will survive the 4th industrial revolution. Pi tops are built for only to know what could not be known in the first place.It is a laptop to where you can create your own music and even create your own video game. It is a laptop to where you can play old 80’s games that you can’t find anymore. It is an advancement in technology but think about what you want to do in the future. The pi top can help with what you want to do in the future after high school and college

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  9. Tons of people are worried that AI are going to start taking our jobs, which they will, but it’s not as bad as people think it is. There is tons of things that AI can’t do, even 5-10 years later we will still be able to do more than they will ever be able to do. People will take jobs that only people can do, and leave the AI to do easier tasks they can manage. The AI wont take all of our jobs, but they will be taking the easier ones soon.

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  10. I believe that technology (as the article implies) can and will take over jobs that can be easily automated. AI can already learn via Machine Learning and Algorithms so it wouldn’t surprise me if they can learn how to do specific jobs (i.e. designing homes). Even today, we are seeing the start of the revolution as we now have robots that can navigate and learn how to navigate their current environment (Ex: Boston Dynamics).

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  11. I feel that we can survive the 4th industrial revolution, but in order for us to survive the 4th revolution we must change the way we are taught, and think of new jobs that can not be taken by technology or robots. If we do not change the way that education is today then many of our jobs will be taken by technology. We must learn new paths and new things in careers that technology or robots can not do. We must be smarter than the technology if we want to survive the 4th industrial revolution.

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  12. I think that the upcoming generation will survive the 4th industrial revolution, but previous generations may not. Generation Z will have the adequate knowledge about advancing education, in addition to the proper training for jobs that cannot be replaced by AI. With the boom in advancing technology, it is very possible that AI could threaten the lives of the older generation without preparation.

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  13. I think that the revolution of cybernetics will be survivable as long as we know how to control the speed and purpose. For the ignorant, who don’t want to face the facts, if they don’t realize whats going on, then they will be the ones who are overcome. It’s a new frontier that should be explored and exploited, with the proper knowledge.

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  14. Our survival of the 4th Industrial Revolution depends on the purpose if we are eager to actually teach ourselves the functions of today’s technology such as A.I. Technology can help us within degrees of where we do not have experience in, to entertain ourselves, and to help advance as time moves forward. If we keep relying more on the technology rather than our prior knowledge, in my opinion, we would be electronically dependent worldwide. This is why most students today are being taught to do things to actually ensure that we do not become too advanced and lose the opportunity to actually experience what others had to do without all the modern technology. If we let all the technology in the 4th Revolution take over, what would people who were in these fields do without their jobs? Would we be stuck within a period with all of the advanced technology and never actually really be able to survive if we had a short amount of time without them?

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  15. The forth industrial revolution will usher in a new age in which humans will have to adapt to the rise of AI. We are now entering a point in history where our creations are becoming capable of doing what we once did, maybe better. What now matters is how we handle this situation. Either way, people will decide to take up the challenge and find new academic fields to support them.

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  16. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing how we live, work, and communicate. It’s reshaping government, education, healthcare, and commerce, and almost every aspect of life. Yes, we will most certainly survive the 4th industrial revolution. As a society, we have become dependent on technology. As jobs are taken by AI technology, we face the issue of lack of employment, but this means that workers can spend more time on creative, collaborative, and complex problem-solving tasks that machine automation isn’t well suited to handle. We will become more humane.

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  17. In this 4th industrial evolution, the frivolous and repetitive tasks, that a majority of our population work to complete everyday will (within the next decade) be replaced with robots. The human race must be educated at a higher level and learn to preform more complex tasks. Or, face the consequences, be replaced by a machine. These changes will definitely challenge our ideas, it’s a concept that the world has to be ready for, whether we like it or not.

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  18. In today’s world i think that we have become more and more reliant on technology for simple tasks.I think that if there is any chance of surviving the 4th industrial revolution we need to learn how to adapt to the changes that are coming our way.

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  19. I agree with everyone because it is focusing on making new and better technology for our use and challenges our ideas. I think we will be able to survive the fourth revolution because if jobs are taken by Al new ones will be created. As young students we might need to start preparing for the technology change that might happen in the fourth industrial revolution.

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  20. I believe that our generation is been taking over by technology and smart devices which causes the human race to have to work less and think more about what we are capable of and what we can do to improve on our ability to change and upgrade more of whats around us. And the fourth industrial revolution allows us to do those things because we are advancing day by day in our capability and the only thing that can limit us is ourselves.

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  21. i do think that we will survive the 4th industrial evolution, but it won’t be easy. AI might take a lot of jobs that allow people to feed themselves and their families. Eventually their will be new jobs that come along that humans can do. If we needed new jobs, we would have to come up with a clever and more difficult job that even a AI can’t do. Humans are better at creativity than AI so it shouldn’t be a problem inventing a new job 🙂 Everyday we become more dependent on technology, but when technology takes over, we would want to destroy it. Everything that we are doing now will HAVE to change if the 4th industrial evolution did happen. so we better start preparing now. I mean i’m not but other people should.

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  22. I think that surviving the fourth industrial revolution shouldn’t be a problem for this generation. We grew up with technology constantly advancing, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for us to adapt to these advancements in technology and AI.

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  23. The advancement and incorporation of AI will completely change how we live our daily lives. As advanced systems become widely available and humans rely on those systems for simple tasks, we will be open to more lackadaisical behavior as well as increased freedom to explore new occupations and activities. The true impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution entirely depends on how we respond to it and integrate the coming technology into society.

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  24. The fourth industrial revolution will be here soon. We will soon have machines that work the same or better than our parents or grandparents did, according to the article. Machines will not take our jobs, as 65 percent of kids in primary school will go into a career that isn’t even created yet. We need to adapt to these changes, or we will not be able to keep up with the economy.

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  25. in my opinion, i do not think that robots will be the cause of us being cut from jobs. The 4th industrial revolution will end up being more on educating us for future lessons not lessons on jobs that can be preformed be AI. We will be learning more on surviving with lessons on new technology and programming.

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  26. yes i do think we will survive the fourth industrial revolution, and i think that because technology is growing so more jobs are possible to do with machines. We need to learn the balance between human jobs and jobs being taking by machines.

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  27. With the fourth industrial revolution there will be new jobs, but other jobs, such as surgeons and other doctors will be taken over by Artificial Intelligence. That is good for we will have new jobs available for upcoming generations, but for the elders of our current generation, the jobs that they know will rarely be run by humans

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  28. I think the next generation, as well as or generation will be capable to survive the 4th industrial revolution because during our time so many new advancements that we are used o adapting to change. Although i do not believe that the past will have the capability to adapt to new millennial advancements. Evidence to support that statement is that some of our grandparents now still have flip phones simply because the newer ones were to confusing. If they cant adapt to a simple phone then what will happen when the whole world is the same complexity as the newest phone?

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  29. the 4th industrial revolution could both give and take job opportunities small jobs such as desk jobs could be taken by AI and jobs such as codding will spike in popularity as well as being the main use for creating tech

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