At the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 20, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:46 AM, March 20, 2019

At the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution

What's on the cards and how ready are we?

Every morning Sharmin Shila heads to her office in Gulshan-1 from Bashabo. She would take a bus and get off at Link Road and walk the rest. Sometimes she'd be lucky to find a seat on the bus, other times not so much. With all the traffic and congestion, it's difficult for women to make arduous journeys to the office.

But thanks to ride sharing apps, it only takes Sharmin twenty minutes to get to work now. Pathao and Uber are household names now in our country. And with conventional ride sharing apps becoming successful, there are even truck sharing apps coming into the fray.

Many online businesses have started and thrived on Facebook as well. Many entrepreneurs using the online platform could only dream about starting a business ten years back. And there's many more examples such as this but the fact of the matter is that, the advent of information and technology is bringing about major revolutions to how people live their lives and it's affecting the lives of the Bangladeshi people as well.

After the industrial revolution, there came about a complex supply chain centring manufacturing, supply of goods, supplier interests, wholesale, retail practices and etc. These factors resulted in the creation of a billion different products and allowed for customers to avail them easily. The transference of education and knowledge became streamlined as well and the methods evolved too. Universities and institutions started to focus on creating Supply Chain Managers. As a result, the number of degrees overshadowed the interests of practicing arts and sciences.

But the creation of the internet and its multi-faceted uses resulted in a major shift. Tom Goodwin, Senior Vice President of Havas Media, dictates these shifts. He said, “Uber, the biggest taxi company in the world, has no taxis themselves. The world's biggest social media platform Facebook doesn't make any content themselves. Alibaba, the world's most important retail platform does not have its own storage. And the world's largest housing provider Air Bnb does not have any real estate itself. And for these reasons, the founder of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab says that these changes are signs of the fourth industrial revolution.”

Klaus Schwab calls these changes a revolution and not just progress. He cited the invention of the steam engine as the first industrial revolution – production increased from using just water and steam. The second industrial revolution was brought upon through mass producing with the use of electricity. And the third industrial revolution was brought upon with the growth of the electronics industry, information and technology. He stated that the invention of the transistor in the mid-20th century led to the third industrial revolution. And on the heels of the third industrial revolution, the current digital revolution and the fourth industrial revolution is taking place. This is a result of the natural effects of technology, where the line between the physical and virtual realm is becoming more and more blurred.

He however refuses to accept these changes as merely an extension of the third industrial revolution. Because if you talk about the scope, rate of growth or impact of these revolutions – none of it is comparable to what happened during the third revolution. There is no historical evidence of such uncontested growth and it can be said that these changes are occurring at an exponential rate. And these changes are affecting every inch of our lives and 360 degrees of our periphery.

It's hard to not get excited with all this! The country is feeling the fourth industrial revolution and yet a lot of us are unaware of it or can't comprehend it. Co-worker Arup explains this to Samia. Arup said, “The technological advents of the fourth industrial revolution will make our lives better.” Sharmin Shila liked what Arup had to say. Inquisitively, she looks online to see if there have been any news or events in Bangladesh regarding this revolution. And just like that – Industry 4.0. Upon entering the site she finds that one of the ten zones of Basis Soft Expo 2019 happens to be Industry 4.0. This will provide a rundown of the introduction of the digital revolution and will bring forth the successes of the ICT sector during the Digital Bangladesh era.

She decided that she won't miss the chance to witness the fourth industrial revolution from up close. She copies the link of the event and posts it to her own timeline for safekeeping. She wrote, “I am overwhelmed, the country is truly prospering. I am attending the event and you should come to Basis Software Expo 2019 as well.” To know more details visit – www.softexpo.com.bd

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