The cotton mill. The assembly line. The microprocessor. What do these three technologies have in common?
They are what drove the first, second and third industrial revolutions. Each of them forced a transformation that rippled across the globe, upending industries, processes and society as a whole. The cotton mill led to the birth of the modern factory in England. The assembly line ushered in the age of mass production. The microprocessor, aided by radical advances in networking, put a computer on every desktop and a smartphone in every pocket.
Now we find ourselves in the midst of a fourth industrial revolution — one driven by data. It builds upon its predecessors while being spurred on by artificial intelligence, machine learning, pattern detection, data science and more.