Will COVID-19 accelerate the shift to Industry 4.0?
The current global health crisis is also a business and economic crisis and will change the way we work, with a greater focus on technology.
That's according to Nigel Green, CEO of financial advisory firm deVere Group, who says that a recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to a "fundamental shift" in how we live, do business and invest.
In particular, Green expects to see an acceleration in the adoption and development of Industry 4.0, or the fourth industrial revolution, reports technology and business news provider Verdict.
"The coronavirus outbreak can be expected to speed up the so-called fourth revolution, which is fuelled by new technologies such as artificial intelligence and mobile supercomputing," he said.
The physical distancing and self-isolation measures currently in place around the world are likely to help reinforce the adoption of digital technologies, Green added.
"Enforced social distancing will highlight how families, friends and colleagues can interact, remain connected and work, how businesses can still efficiently operate, and how investors can manage assets via advancing digital infrastructures."
The new, high-tech world of smart factories and automated manufacturing will still need workers, however.
As Robotics and Automation News explains, industrial automation has brought in new ways of working in which machines and human effort are combined to increase efficiency and drive down complexity.
The aerospace and defence industry, for instance, has recently made strides in digitisation and automation. Advanced technologies assist workers in extreme or dangerous environments and minimise human error to help ensure high safety standards.
But rather than create a fully automated, "lights out" factory, aviation giant Boeing has optimised automation to integrate it with and augment the tasks performed by workers on the factory floor.
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