3/29/2024 - Technology and Innovation

Industry 4.0. The road to the fourth Industrial Revolution

By Damian Moreyra

Industry 4.0. The road to the fourth Industrial Revolution

Although this path began almost two centuries earlier, it was not until the middle of the 20th century that countries with greater industrialization, such as the United States and Japan, expanded the development of integrated circuits and the first computers. With the consequent evolution, the 1970s gave rise to the Third Industrial Revolution, which consisted mainly of the introduction of computer and digital technology in areas such as production and communications. This drove improvements in the efficiency and speed of processes, just as steam, gas and coal had previously done in the First Industrial Revolution, and electricity, gas and oil in the Second.

This third revolution gained even more notoriety around the 1990s, when the sale of personal computers and cellular phones expanded worldwide, presenting endless opportunities for automation. This decade also saw the beginning of the World Wide Web computer network, which popularized the use of the Internet worldwide (it is curious to remember how humanity reacted to the new terms "at", "link" or "browser". If you are curious, I invite you to watch Flashback! The Internet In 1995 | Archives).
However, the optimization of processes introduced a new concept of speed, and it is for this reason that the pace of evolution has become more frenetic in the last century. The use of the Internet proposed times that were assumed to be impossible for communication, such as the exchange of information in almost real time or massive productions in just weeks.

And this speed marked the arrival of Industry 4.0, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which also continues to develop and evolve at the speed of light. It is remarkable that between the first revolution and the third one, around 200 years have passed, and between the third and this last one, barely around 50 years.
Just as back then, today we are faced with new terms such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), Blockchain, Internet of Things or BigData. Wonderful tools for a world in constant change and in an infinitely fast race.

Artificial Intelligence that we usually found in science fiction movies is now among us as an invaluable tool for automation and immediate access to any type of information through physical or digital robots. Generating images, programming code, text, or many other things are now just a click away. And it has just begun, since this intelligence still needs to be trained by humans to constantly improve and learn.
And it is not for nothing that it bears its name. We humans learn as we go through life and as we become more experienced, our decisions improve. This easily translates into "the more information, the clearer your decision" and this is where the Internet of Things and Big Data come in.

Internet of things or IoT (Internet of things) refers to the network of interconnected devices and the technologies that facilitate communication between them, and between them and the clouds (giant computer networks). Cell phones, notebooks, PCs, tablets, all in a large network generating and sharing information that is stored globally and that in general terms can be called BigData. If we think about the exponential growth of smart devices (those with Internet access), we can understand the same growth in the amount of data generated, and that far from stopping it continues to grow at insurmountable rates.

Consequently this growth of data increased the difficulty to control them and then more secure systems became necessary to ensure reliable information, especially when that information is financial and any kind of fraudulent action can influence our economy.
With that premise Blockchain was born, an unalterable and shared ledger to record transactions and assets in a business network. Since time immemorial mankind has exchanged assets, from tangible (a house, a car, cash, groceries) to intangible (intellectual property, patents, copyrights, trademarks). Now, with so much information being generated and shared, how is it possible to trust traditional systems?
Not only does information need to be sent and received quickly, it also needs to be accurate and reliable. Blockchain is ideal in this area, providing immediate, shared and transparent access to information stored in a single ledger that can only be accessed with certain permissions. Although fraudulent actions are still possible, the network provided new concepts of trustworthiness about the exchange of assets by offering a structure with infinite possibilities for both tangible and intangible assets. Being a peer to peer (P2P) network, each participant in the network is interconnected with the other and all maintain an identical copy of the ledger, accessible at all times and hardly modifiable without the consensus of all participants.
Blockchain proposes a profound change in the way of making asset transactions, and even with the resistance of traditional systems, it has gained immense notoriety and confidence to intrude in our routine. Or are you no longer familiar with the terms cryptocurrency, token or Exchange?

I hope you enjoyed the article, and if so I invite you to share it and help me with its diffusion.
Soon, I will be publishing a new one in which I will deepen a little more about the Blockchain and all its possible applications in a reality that evolves like a racing car and gives us very little time to understand and adapt as we detach from the old world.

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Damian Moreyra

Damian Moreyra

I am Damián Moreyra, graduated from UTN as a Systems Analyst and currently Business Analytics Manager at Blockchain.com.

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