The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electricity to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technologies to automate production. Now, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third. It is a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical and digital spheres.
There are three reasons why today’s transformations are not only an extension of the Third Industrial Revolution but also the onset of the Fourth and completely distinct revolution because of the speed, scope, and impact on different systems. The speed of the current breakthroughs is historically unprecedented. When compared with the previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is basically altering almost every industry in various parts of the world. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald a radical transformation in entire system of production, management, and governance.