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First Industrial Revolution, was a time of transition for new manufacturing processes in Europe and the United States, in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. The First Industrial Revolution, which ended in the middle of 19th century, was punctuated by a slowdown in important inventions materializing. It started with the lightning rod but growing into Britain’s mechanization of the textile industry.

The Second Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, was a phase of rapid standardization and industrialization from the late 19th century into the early 20th, the Second Industrial Revolution is generally dated between 1870 and 1914 (the beginning of World War I).

The main causes of the second industrial revolution were due to the availability of: natural resources, abundant labor supply, strong government policy, new sources of power, railroads and American inventors and inventions.  Though a number of its events can be traced to earlier innovations in manufacturing, such as the establishment of a machine tool industry, the development of methods for manufacturing interchangeable parts and the invention of the Bessemer Process to produce steel as well.

The Digital Revolution, is characterized by the spread of automation and digitization through the use of electronics and computers, the invention of the Internet, and the discovery of nuclear energy. This era witnessed the rise of electronics like never before, from computers to new technologies that enable the automation of industrial processes. Advancements in telecommunications led the way for widespread globalization, which in turn enabled industries to offshore production to low-cost economies and radicalize business models worldwide.  The Digital Revolution dates roughly from 1969 to 2009.

The AI revolution is marked by digitalization, digital transformations, personal connected devices, data analytics, AI technologies, automation, and Industrial IoT. IT standards are introduced to industrial automation, devices get smaller and smarter, IT and OT operations collaborate to drive business-level decisions and further transform business models. We are currently living in the AI revolution having started in roughly 2010.

The first three revolutions were a boon to people and wage gross and prosperity.  Will the fourth or AI revolution continue this trend of benefiting mankind or be the instrument of widespread unemployment and the end of civilization at least according to some movies?


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