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The Third Great Wave of Digitalization

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The Third Great Wave of Digitalization

Name: Mashuk Anadil Shams

Student ID- 005MSMS0612

Faculty- Kamal Hossain

Subject- Innovation and Technology Management (ITM)

Date- 23/3/2015

                           Table of Contents

Introduction:        3

Literature review        4

The rise of the new platforms-        4

The concept of Robber Barons-        6

The Third Great Wave-        11

Conclusion-        13

Works Cited        14

Bibliography:        15

Appendices        17


Purpose of the essay-

The purpose of this essay is to give a briefing to the senior management team to shed light on the recent matter of the digital revolution and the changes it can bring about in the world. Starting from the 1800’s we have brought about innumerous advancements that made us progress at a blindingly fast pace. Today in the modern world, the technological developments we have made can be thought of as inconceivable a decade ago. In fact, our own development has taken on such speed that the average people are hardly able to keep up. Of all the striking developments we have achieved, most of them improved our lives and made it easier. But along the way, technology had replaced the human element of work with machines that did the job better. The third revolution, which is the digital one, poses a real possibility of humans being redundant in the workplace as, machines are becoming more and more sophisticated, smarter in terms of abilities, and are cheaper to deploy.

Limitations of the essay –

The essay aims to review Avent’s work and give a generalized view of the development that he asserts. The interpretation may not entirely reflect the actual situation of the matter which Avent talks about. On the other hand, the assertion of Avent’s statement may also be interpreted as overreaction and only a one sided argument.

Methodology of the essay-

This essay is of a qualitative nature as, it is a critical review of the work of Ryan Avent. This entails reviewing and comparing a lot of literature related to Ryan Avent’s work and then critically analyzing his viewpoint on digitalization being claimed as the third revolution which could bring a big change in the world and as a consequence, may not be too good for us.

Literature review

The rise of the new platforms-        

The work of Ryan Avent asserts that technology has brought about a great change in the world which can sometimes be considered as unthinkable, and thus, can have negative consequences. Such technological advancements which was highlighted in the science fiction movies of the 1980’s and the 1990’s is now a reality. Thus, there has been a rapid rise of technology which overshadowed traditional concepts, values, and beliefs and ushered in a new era of digitalization which changed the way we do everything. In 1993, the computer game Doom left amazed at the intricate level design and the mechanics. Nowadays computing power has exponentially increased so much, that the characters in a modern game have artificial intelligence that nearly rivals that of a Human. A monumental change in communication technology has taken place that allows us to communicate face to face from very long distances thanks to VOIP internet services such as Skype, Viber, etc, along with 3G and 4G mobile internet data that has brought enormous data transmission speeds. Countless number of other improvements have been made that ultimately gave us a better quality of life. The advancements in technology has created new economic structures which ultimately gave rise to new jobs to replace the old ones (Avent, 2014). Professor Susan Greenfield, who is a neuroscientist and researcher at oxford university, interprets fast paced technology as altering our social identity and behavioural aspects. She argues that, the surrounding environment has a direct impact on how our brains develop and transform into a unique mind different from others (Greenfield, 2011). According to this statement, being engaged with technology too much may cause us to lose touch with the physical world by engulfing ourselves in the virtual world. All of the modern technological marvels have risen up and took over us, rendering us as slaves to technology. In the modern technological world, we cannot simply do without our gadgets and smartphones as, they help us to tasks more efficiently and quickly. But as technology progresses even more, the pace of the rapid changes may be too much in order to keep up. When that happens, there may be a case of technology reigning supreme over us. It seems that this is what Ryan Avent is trying to communicate; that technology will leave us in a disadvantageous position by rendering us inferior to the rapid advancements of computing power, communications, gadgets,  and other innovations and inventions, despite the improvements that it will bring. In 1965, Gordon Moore, had published a revolutionary article that changed the world.

“The future of integrated electronics is the future of electronics itself. The advantages of integration will bring about a proliferation of electronics, pushing this science into many new areas. Integrated circuits will lead to such wonders as home computers–or at least terminals connected to a central computer–automatic controls for automobiles, and personal portable communications equipment. The electronic wristwatch needs only a display to be feasible today.” (Moore,  1965, p 1).

This opening statement by Moore signified the speed at which electronic chips were advancing was simply incredible and would double every two years or so. This was Moore’s law. And In fact, this law still does hold true today. But, Avent (2014) is claiming that Moore’s law is near to the end of its life as a theory. Components in chips have shrunk so much that attempting to reduce them any further would only increase the costs further (Avent 2014).  IBM could turn out to prove Avent and Particularly, Moore wrong as they plan to produce even tinier chips. With a $3 Billion investment, IBM is looking to breakthrough developments such as Silicon Photonics and Carbon Nanotubes which are beyond what anyone can imagine. Such designs will involve using pulses of light and even a different material for making the chips altogether. Is that’s not enough, quantum computing and neurosynaptic computing, which involves processing data more like the human brain, will give take us to a new generation of computing in which it may be possible to process virtually anything. Perhaps neurosynaptic computing make the concept of cyborgs, or robots with near to human intelligence a reality that will usher in a generation where humanoid robots will take the place of employees in the workplace. Those humanoids could be able to work 24/7 without any compromises. The platforms of modern technology is once more taking a turn towards rapid change. Even though Avent argues that the oncoming developments will make vast improvements to our standards of living, he states that history has proven that the adaptation to those developments will be sluggish, and difficult.



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