Jamaicans in Industry 4.0. and Industry 5.0. as Humans and AI work side by side

The Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0 is coming and already many organizations are try to catch up.

This Fourth Industrial Revolution is basically a range of new technologies, mainly AI (Artificial Intelligence) that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds. It is impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human.

According to Professor of communications policy and digital media at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Hopeton Dunn, Jamaica’s goose is cooked if we do not adopt to the coming of AI, as he said, “While Industry 4.0 speaks to a broad scope of technology-led changes affecting all aspects of human society globally, the emerging concept of Industry 5.0 is more narrowly focused on efficient manufacturing processes, through better interaction between humans and robots, while limiting waste and protecting the environment”.

Despite this, another technological shift is occuring……the Fifth Industrial Revolution called ‘Industry 5.0’.

Education and Industry 5.0. – What exactly is the Fifth Industrial Revolution

Education and information technology experts in Jamaica are already sounding the alarm. They are calling for education and training to meet the demands of Industry 5.0., which is basically a reversal of Industry 4.0. i.e. humans and AI working together after the former being displaced by them in the workplace.

Professor of communications policy and digital media at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Hopeton Dunn, maintains that Industry 5.0 is among numerous attempts to classify the various stages of human and machine development, from the early tool-making efforts of primitive humans to what he calls “the latest high-end, cyber-physical technologies of robots, self-driving cars, Internet of things, and their motive forces of machine learning, algorithms and artificial intelligence”.

Both Dunn and Dr Sean Thorpe, head of the School of Computing and Information Technology at the University of Technology, Jamaica, are of the belief that the present era demands innovative ways to deliver education and training appropriate to global and local demands. However, Dr. Hopeton Dunn is wrong in describing Industry 5.0 as being all about “the latest high-end, cyber-physical technologies of robots, self-driving cars, Internet of things, and their motive forces of machine learning, algorithms and artificial intelligence”.

Granted there is a need to introduce kids to programming, digital literacy and robotics as posited by the Dr. Hopeton Dunn, quote: “The processes of preparing Jamaicans for this new environment should start at the basic, primary and secondary stages of schooling, with an introduction to content such as non-traditional languages, basic computer programming, digital literacy and experimentation with robotics”.

But that is going to be hard, as nobody has properly defined what Industry 5.0 is either. So this is really a lot of panic and the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0 hasn’t properly reached Jamaica as yet.

Industry 4.0. and Industry 5.0. – Humans and AI working side by side

Industry 5.0. will mainly see humans and AI, both in  factory, home and industrial robot, be they humanoid in form or machine-looking, working alongside each other as if it were normal. The Industry 5.0 will also be characterized by Singularity (AI that are fully sentient and self-aware) as well as Quantum computing, in light of the recent achievement of Quantum Supremacy by Google.

“However, these transitions are not easy, hence the need to be deliberate cannot be overstated. Some immediate steps will need to include talented trainers and mentors – new and existing – to be tooled in the depth of practice and skills training, which harnesses collaborative artificial intelligence (AI)”, asserted Dr. Sean Thorpe, who is also the president of the Jamaica Computer Society.

There is a shift in local educational and business practices coming to many Jamaicans adjust to working with AI and Robots. Intellectual property will be a must, as we need to develope Jamaican solutions and implement them for our workforce to work with AI, as pointed out by Dr. Thorpe: “Secondly, the development of intellectual property for these collaborative AI solutions need to be assessed and promoted as a part of basic research as well as the innovations required, coming out of the pre- and post-university training institutions. The transitional framework in building skills to support a collaborative AI human workforce is a triple helix for government, the private sector and academia to work together to provide our next-generation workforce with the opportunities”.

Still, Dr. Sean Thorpe, is exaggerating a bit, as there is no need to panic as he calls for, quote: “The focus of training and education needs to be repositioned. The curricula must now seek to model Industry 5.0 standards, guided by human-intelligent models of training; and the human practitioner, about how to leverage machine to develop product and service aware technology solutions, which are in context, sensitive and add new dimensions of market value to the end user/customer worldwide”.

“Students should also receive early exposure to the value of critical thinking, wide reading, community history, cultural arts and human communication. The hardcore practice of streaming students into arts and sciences early in the secondary system must give way to what is now called a ‘convergent education’, in which the benefits of an education in both the arts and sciences can be deployed by students in the selection of new careers that often require this dual exposure,” said Dr. Hopeton Dunn.

What is needed, however, is for student in high schools to realize that they much chose career paths that will allow them to have a job during Industry 4.0., when AI begins to displace humans. Increased critical thinking skills as well as the merging of the Sciences and Art will be necessary, as being multi-skilled will be a must.

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.