Image via Comic Book; Edited by HITZ
When you think about tech, you might immediately think about the latest smart gadgets such as your phones, TV, household items, watches, etc.
However, technology is on such a larger scale than just your everyday items. Have you heard of 4IR?
What is Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)?
Usually shortened to 4IR, this advancement in tech is basically the internet, smart gadgets, Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain technology, and so much more!
Before you confuse some of these things, here are some typical misconceptions people have about 4IR and what they REALLY are:
#1 Blockchain isn’t just cryptocurrency
You may immediately associate blockchain to cryptocurrency but blockchain is more than that. Blockchain is a type of database where information is kept in blocks. And then, these blocks are linked together, creating a chronological chain.
All your crypto transactions are the information placed in these blocks. An example of the transaction would be John transferring 1 Bitcoin to Adam. As multiple transactions fill up the block, a new block will be automatically created and then they will be linked together.
Once an information is placed in the block, it cannot be edited or removed! So, the main point here for y’all to understand is that the blockchain can be used in many other ways too.
One great example would be to avoid fake certificates and licences. Because every document that has been put into the blockchain cannot be changed in any way, you won’t be able to forge anything.
So, don’t try to cheat the abang or kakak police if they want to check your driver’s licence okay.
#2 AI is something waayyyyyyy into the future
You may think AI technology is something like Skynet from Terminator where robots have a mind of their own. Well… we actually already use AI tech in our everyday lives. Alexa, Siri, self-driving cars, robot vacuums and more are basically using AI technology!
Amazon’s Alexa isn’t exactly an AI because she still has limitations but she has AI technology built in. Basically, she has self-learning capabilities but based solely on trial and error instead of thinking like a human brain.
For example, if you told her to play the song “Crush”, she may play David Archuleta’s song instead of Yuna’s. But once you correct her, she will know in the future to play Yuna’s version instead.
Or, Alexa may even ask you which artist you one prefer! Alexa can’t think FOR herself and relies on your commands instead. This is why she isn’t an actual AI robot.
#3 4IR isn’t limited to intangible stuff only…
Besides the things you can’t touch like the internet, cloud computing and AI, 4IR also includes physical materials!
Have you ever heard of self-repairing concrete? You’ve probably seen cracks along your home’s walls before or even public kaki lima pavements, and humans would need to manually fix them.
Thanks to advancement in biotechnology (which yes, it’s part of 4IR!), there are a few self-healing concretes created! An example would be a bacteria-based one invented by Henk Jonkers.
The bacterium Bacillus thrives in the high-alkaline conditions of the concrete. By adding calcium lactate to the concrete mixture, bacillus can produce limestone to repair cracks.
#4 Farmers today are also very canggih, you know!
If you think farmers are still standing in the middle of the field with a cangkul these days, then you’re super outdated. Even the agricultural sector is making full use of smart technology and robotics to keep farms going at optimum conditions while reducing human labour.
Here are some of the things these smart farms have:
- Soil sensors to check on the quality and pH levels.
- Smart-controlled lights.
- Humidity and temperature managing tools.
- Autonomous tractors and processing facilities.
- Specialised software solutions that target specific farm types.
Can we survive without the 4IR?
Sure, we can! However, it would be highly inconvenient without the internet, your smartphones, and all the minor amenities that add to a much comfier life. Imagine not being able to Google for info… 😱
By the way… did you know that our Malaysian government is already committing to getting Malaysians ready for 4IR? They are doing their best to educate what 4IR is, share its benefits to the rakyat, and equip you all with the skills necessary.
They’re also developing a proper digital infrastructure, future-proof regulations to ensure Malaysia can be aligned with tomorrow’s technology, and accelerate the innovation and adoption of 4IR.
Image via EPU
Soon, we too can become a high-income nation and don’t feel paiseh when comparing to other countries.
There’s so much more to the 4IR than what can be shared in this one article. To find out more about our national 4IR plans, check out the National 4IR Policy by the Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister's Department (EPU, PMD).
You can also visit epu.gov.my to get more info.