Transformation 2. THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: REVOLUTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS

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IT NEWS • FEBRUARY – MARCH 2019 • No. 02 (280)

The fourth industrial revolution.

This term is increasingly heard on our TV screens, more and more often we hear different opinions and forecasts from leading scientists.

Perhaps the easiest way to tell you about the fourth industrial revolution is to reveal the essence of its core technologies.

You have already heard about many of them many times – these are new computing technologies, and uniting many of the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution – the concept of the “digital economy”, which includes technologies of the distributed ledger, the Internet of things, as well as technologies for the production of advanced materials and multidimensional printing, robotics and artificial intelligence, bio and neurotechnologies , virtual and augmented reality, as well as concepts and technologies for building cities of the future and, of course, in my opinion, a very promising topic of digital immortality, and many, many others …

But! I am interested in one, as it seems to me, an important question:

How will our life change with you at the moment when the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution start working in full force?

But, is it necessary to ask this question?

But what if there really is no revolution yet?

Let’s take another look at the technologies that are shaping the so-called fourth industrial revolution:

  • Digital economy. But did not ten and twenty years ago, what we now call the word “digitalization” called “automation” and “informatization”?
  • Distributed ledger and cryptocurrencies. Was it not in the mid-1980s that distributed database implementations and the first “electronic cash” protocols were proposed? Until 20 years ago, all technical universities were engaged in distributed computing.
  • Robotics. The term “intelligent machines” dates back to 1832. The word “android” appeared at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1920, the term “robot” appears. In 1940, three laws of robotics were formulated. In the 60th the term “cyborg”, and in the 70th ” genoid ” …
  • Artificial Intelligence. Expert systems and knowledge bases have been known to us since the 70s.

And where is the fourth industrial revolution here?

At first glance, it is not a revolution, but a completely natural evolution of the development of science and technology.

And, perhaps, my question is: how will our life change with you at the moment when the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution start working in full force? Maybe not entirely appropriate if there is no revolution?

Those less science for the last decades has stepped significantly in front of. What we could dream of or read about in science fiction books already exists now. Technologies have emerged that are truly capable of changing the world.

It is already safe to say that in the coming decades, these technologies will radically change the way we perceive the world around us. They will change the approaches to processing and analyzing information, change the way people interact, change the processes of production of products and services, and, ultimately, form new value systems in our country.

And right now the so-called “critical mass” of knowledge and technologies is being formed, which will “blow up” the world of technology and science, and change our life with you. This process is the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution!

Now, to answer my question: how will our life change with you at the moment when the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution will start working in full force?

Let’s take a look inside the ongoing processes.

Let’s talk about two, as it seems to me, interesting trends: “artificial intelligence” and “digital human immortality” …

Artificial Intelligence.

What is artificial intelligence (AI), we more or less imagine.

Some perfect program is capable of practically independently, either from the outside world or from the Internet, to collect, accumulate and analyze huge arrays of structured and unstructured information, and then, on its basis, make certain simple and complex decisions, or, at least, represent a person in useful data in one form or another.

We are already dealing with this process everywhere. For example, AI through our smartphones with you (which we use as a communication interface) provides us with background information and answers our daily questions.

Or more complicated, today there is an AI system that analyzes the condition of a sick patient, makes diagnoses to him and, based on the current situation, makes a decision about an operation that saves his life, while also “monitoring” the state of a person during the operation and at the stage of his recovery.

But!

If engineers cope with relatively simple tasks well, and they coped with them ten and twenty years ago, when they created expert systems and knowledge bases, then with complex tasks everything is not so simple.

Scientists have yet to create the problem of the formation and development of AI into a real intellectual system capable of creativity and making important decisions.

Moreover, there are many unsolvable engineering problems, for example:

  • AI is a program that programmers create. Today, a person is not able to fully understand the principles of our brain with you. He is not able to create not only something similar to himself, but also to create a more or less perfect AI system from the point of view of the person himself.
  • Man himself is simply not perfect. He makes mistakes and, a priori, there will be billions of errors in artificial intelligence as a program code … What will this lead to? It’s very simple, AI will commit crimes! Yes it is. Despite the 4 Laws of Robotics, AI will commit crimes. How will he do it? Quite simply, he will ignore these laws. How? There is also an answer – “creativity”.
  • The number of AI programs being developed today is scattered, but after 20-30 years the development process will become an avalanche and even viral. I am sure that after a while we will witness local AI wars.
  • AI creating new AI. Now a person in the IT world is trying to create everything in his own image and likeness. And this is not a secret for anyone. But the time is not far off when AI will create, together with humans, and later independently, other AIs.
  • Combining AI into “social” groups.
  • Development of AI into superintelligence , etc.

As we see the question “How will our life change with you at the moment when the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution start working in full force?” becomes more tangible and relevant.

But let’s return to another trend – “digital immortality”. It seems to me that this direction will become a kind of apogee of the development of science and technology of the fourth industrial revolution.

The question of human immortality has been haunting the minds of people for more than one century – is it the question of human immortality or, if you like, the question of which of the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution will allow us to live, at least, a hundred, two hundred years, or exist indefinitely?

Is it possible?

In theory, obviously yes!

How could it be?

Perhaps this question is not very difficult to answer.

From the point of view of information science or information technology, everything that a person is from is a system in which a mass of heterogeneous information is collected, processed and stored. We call all this information “our memory”, “our life experience”, etc. In addition, a person is also a unique system that “creatively” forms algorithms for receiving, processing and storing this information, and these algorithms are also stored within us. And much more.

Imagine a situation where technologies have reached such a level that they are able to transfer all this data to an external medium or, for example, directly to another body (a body can be a hybrid biomechanical system, a robot, and artificially grown or printed on 3 D – printer) … and there can be an infinite number of such transfers.

Here, you and digital immortality …

But!

I am, perhaps, not so much worried about engineering problems beyond the transfer problem, but by the questions that will follow this process …

Will this “creature” be you? Or a copy of you with the same knowledge and experience?

At what point in time to carry out this transfer – during life or, for example, in the first five minutes after death?

And here we are faced with a huge number of questions that humanity has to answer!

But what about you and me now?

Perhaps the most promising in the near future, from a theoretical point of view, will be the process of transferring human consciousness into virtual reality. As you probably know, it is not the first year that active work has been going on, both in the direction of developing technologies for creating virtual reality, and work on creating a hardware implementation of the human brain.

And, that way, in a hundred years, the process of subsequent unloading of our “essences” with you on a new digital medium, which will already exist in our reality, in our world, is quite possible.

Returning to the issue of digital immortality, there is another interesting engineering problem – how to put the already existing knowledge and experience collected by humanity into the human brain, bypassing the years of studying books and accumulating life experience. After all, without solving it, we cannot live forever!

We receive all knowledge from the external world gradually, and they are not immediately placed in our consciousness. They seem to remain in the buffer zone. They are structured and honed by our consciousness sometimes even for more than one day or a year. They improve and only then form our experience. You can say figuratively, they are placed in a “library” or in a “warehouse” from which we take them and use them throughout our life.

This process is complex and, for the most part, individual for each person. The problem is that today people do not know how and in what format knowledge is stored in our head, and even more so how to pack it and transfer it to the brain of another person.

In addition, to date, no neuro-interface has been created that is capable of transferring from a certain “storage” directly to our brain.

The situation is even more complicated with human experience.

Imagine that engineers and scientists have coped with these tasks.

They have learned, literally, as IT specialists say, to upload or “upload” knowledge in huge volumes into our brain …

What will happen to us?

And there will be, perhaps, this is what …

A person turns into a kind of “super- savvy ” or super- human .

Imagine this situation, you are a cook and you have gained knowledge of karate. Now you know all the tricks and of course you will want to try them. Oops, bam, you waved your hand, your leg, and one more leg. What after?

You are more likely to injure yourself by breaking your arm or tearing all your ligaments. Your brain will know how and what to do, but your body will not be ready for it.

Another example, you received knowledge in psychology and all knowledge in medicine in the entire history of mankind. So what?

Yes, that’s what. At the very least, you will have the syndrome of the 3rd year student of the Medical Academy. You simply try all the diseases on yourself, and since the knowledge gained has nothing to do with your experience, you will most likely think that you are sick with all diseases in the world at once and there is a possibility that you will go crazy.

That is, as a result, a person will simply break down …

And here’s another engineering challenge. How much information will the human brain be able to receive through the neuro-interface so as not to collapse ? So that a person can accept, process and systematize the entire amount of information, and at the same time not go crazy?

Yes, until all these problems and tasks are resolved, we cannot talk about digital immortality in its full understanding, but already now we can ask ourselves the question: “ How will our life change with you at the moment when the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution will start working in full force? “

To answer this question, you need to understand the following: the fourth industrial revolution, despite all the super-complexity and incredible ideas and technologies, is based on all of us already familiar digital technologies of the third industrial revolution, which we are successfully using now.

In addition, the fourth industrial revolution is at its initial, and, to be more precise, at its embryonic stage of development.

Today, social and legal norms designed to regulate advanced technologies, as well as the relationship between man and “intelligent machine” are still under discussion …

The vector of its formation and implementation completely depends on you and me!

Systems created on the basis of new technologies should provide people with more choice, more perspectives, freedom and control over their own lives. And this is very important, because a person, sooner or later, will assign responsibility for managing and ensuring his life to the “product of his creativity,” namely robots and artificial intelligence. And even if you look more broadly, at a number of robotic and automated systems controlled and serviced by hundreds of artificial intelligences, not people.

As Klaus Schwab notes in his book Technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: “The Fourth Industrial Revolution can give rise to systems that can make society more humane, prosperous, increase life expectancy, open up new opportunities for useful and interesting activities in an economically and environmentally sustainable environment” [i].

It is important to understand that the formation of a model of our future with you and the system of life of our society, based on the use of technologies of the fourth industrial revolution, has not yet been implemented by anyone!

And therefore, the question is how our life will change with you at the moment when the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution start working in full force, what place we will occupy in this world, and most importantly – what role will be assigned to high technologies and results based on these technologies – depends exclusively on you and me!


[i] . Schwab K. Technologies of the fourth industrial revolution : monograph: trans. from English M .: “Publishing house” Eksmo “, 2018.320 p.

© Chesalov Alexander. Digital transformation. 2020 // ISBN 978-5-4498-2970-2