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原創譯文 | 大數據在第四次工業革命中要扮演什麼角色?

原創譯文 | 大數據在第四次工業革命中要扮演什麼角色?

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第四次工業革命的曙光似乎就在眼前了,人造智能、機器人技術、量子計算、3D列印和物聯網等領域的進步,帶領我們見證了一個又一個新突破。文末更多往期譯文推薦

近年來,另一項突飛猛進技術是大數據。信用卡公司追蹤並收集消費者的各種數據,如他們買了什麼、通過什麼渠道買的以及什麼時間買的。 智能手機是推動大數據發展的另一關鍵,因為通過手機也可以追蹤購物數據和媒體消費數據,甚至是消費者全天的位置信息。

現在我們有如此多的數據,對即將到來的第四次工業革命將會起到什麼樣的作用呢?讓我們來看一看這場革命會給我們帶來什麼,看一看大數據將在其中扮演什麼樣的角色,未來又將如何發展。

在給「第四次工業革命」下定義之前,我們有必要回顧一下之前的三次工業革命。

第一次工業革命發生在18世紀到19世紀,當時人們發明了蒸汽機和機械生產方式。第二次工業革命始於十九世紀末,就在第一次世界大戰之前,那時電報和工業縫紉機等發明被帶進人們的生活。

到了20世紀70年代末,第三次工業革命發生了。這場工業革命仍在持續,給人們帶來了互聯網和智能手機等智能設備。

由於第四次工業革命仍處於蓄勢階段,所以這個概念現在還有點抽象。然而,可以肯定的是它會將開啟全面人造智能時代,讓所有的機器都能相互通信和學習,將對生產活動造成深刻影響。

第四次工業革命也被稱為「工業4.0」時代,在分析這場工業革命時,我們不禁會疑惑,大數據將在其中發揮什麼作用。

簡單來說,大數據對第四次工業革命「至關重要」。有些人甚至說大數據就是「工業 4.0」。 例如,在製造業方面,在大數據分析的改進和高效率輔助下,製造業未來五年預計利潤增長數十億美元。

也有人提出了「人工智慧加上大數據等於第四次工業革命」的方程式。一方面,我們可以看到,自動化的機器將替代人類完成一些繁瑣的工作。另一方面,在管理和利用數據時,也產生了更多新的就業崗位。

縱觀歷史,對工業革命的評價常常要通過分析其對產品和產品生產及製造造成的影響。即將到來的「工業4.0」也是一樣,但這一次的工業革命將會影響製造業之外的更多行業。

以金融服務為例,這一領域的專家們將大數據視為「新的電力」,正如蒸汽、電和數字技術改變了世界一樣,大數據也將帶來顛覆性影響。

舉例來說,智利的一家公司使用大數據和機器學習來預測個人客戶償還貸款的可能性。回想20或30年前,要確定一個人的信用評分往往需要花費大量時間和精力。而現在,通過汽車信貸記錄、公用事業賬單和人口普查數據等信息,結合預測機器學習,這一過程幾乎可以瞬時完成。

第四次工業革命的核心概念之一是所有機器和設備能夠相互連接、相互交流和學習。在早期階段,就和物聯網(IoT)類似,物聯網的概念即是汽車、冰箱、電視機、烤箱和家庭安全系統等日常物品都連接到互聯網。

藉助人造智能,我們將節省下大量決策時間,我們將看到這些產品和概念是如何讓我們的生活變得更輕鬆,如何創造出新的商機。

正如一位IBM分析師所說,人工智慧和物聯網的共同之處在於它們都使用和分析大數據。 對這三個領域進行投資的公司極有可能在第四次工業革命中佔得先機,成為時代前沿的領導者和創新者。

一直以來有種觀點認為,第四次工業革命和物聯網、機器人技術、大數據等技術發展將導致很多人失業。這就產生了一個悖論,即我們的社會生產效率提高了,但是工人們卻負擔不起這些產品了。

這是一種相當悲觀的預測。事實上,如果我們從樂觀的角度來看,大數據、機器學習和人工智慧將帶領人們走向更高級的社會狀態,人人都可以享受奢華的生活,因為人們不再需要進行枯燥繁重的體力勞動,機器將代替人類去完成它們,這樣一來,人們就可以更好地專註於只有人類才能完成的工作,如發明創造、藝術創作、科學研究和探索發現。

因此,雖然「工業4.0」將導致很多人失業,但是人們可以創造出更多新的就業機會。

可能你還沒有發現,大數據已經在我們的生活中發揮了巨大的作用。 雖然我們還沒有到電影《未來報告》中描述的水平,但是大量數據已經被用於精準營銷,你的年齡,性別,購物習慣和位置等數據都得到了利用。雖然很多公司表示他們使用的都是匿名數據,但他們的確使用了大數據技術針對你的喜好對你進行廣告投放。

「第四次工業革命」就在眼前,當第四次工業革命正式開啟時,大數據將發揮越來越重要的作用。

What is big data』s role in the fourth industrial revolution?

We stand at the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution, an idea that will see new breakthroughs thanks to advancements in areas including artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum computing, 3D printing and the Internet of Things.

Another technological growth area in recent years has been big data. Credit card companies track and collect all sorts of data on consumers, such as what they buy, how they buy it and when they do their shopping. Smartphones are another key player in big data because they can also track shopping data, as well as data on media consumption and even your location throughout the day.

With so much data available, what role will it have in the upcoming fourth industrial revolution? Here is a quick look at what that revolution entails, big data』s role and what it all means going forward.

What Is the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

When defining this fourth industrial revolution, it』s important to look at the three that preceded it.

The original industrial revolution took place in the 18th and 19th centuries and involved innovations such as steam engines and mechanical production. The second industrial revolution came along toward the end of the 19th century and just before World War I. It included advancements such as the telegraph and industrial sewing machines.

Fast forward to the late 1970s, and you have the third industrial revolution — a period that』s still ongoing and brought along things such as the internet and smartphones.

Since the buildup to the fourth industrial revolution is still happening, the idea of it is a bit abstract. However, it will involve a future in which artificial intelligence allows machines of all types to communicate with and learn from each other, an idea that could potentially have a huge impact on production.

The Lifeblood of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

When analyzing the fourth industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0, one natural question that arises is what role big data will play.

Put simply, big data will be vital to the fourth industrial revolution. In fact, some go as far as to say big data is Industry 4.0. In manufacturing, for example, improvements and efficiencies in the analysis of big data are expected to bring billions of dollars to the industry over the next five years.

Others look at it as an equation in which artificial intelligence plus big data equals the fourth industrial revolution. On one hand, you can see the possibility of job losses as autonomous machines take over tasks that humans have handled for years. On the other, there could be a slew of new jobs created when it comes to harnessing the power of data and using it in a meaningful way.

Throughout history, industrial revolutions have often been judged by their impact on the production and manufacturing of goods and products. That』s no different with the looming Industry 4.0, but it will affect many other industries as well.

Take financial services, for example. In this field, experts view big data as 「the new electricity」 — the power source driving change in the way that steam, actual electricity and digital technology did before it.

In one example, a company in Chile uses big data and machine learning to predict the likelihood individual customers will be able to repay loans. If you look back 20 or 30 years, it took groups of human employees time and effort to determine your credit score. Now, using information such as automotive credit history, utility bills and census data, combined with predictive machine learning, that process can be almost instantaneous.

Part of the fourth industrial revolution is the manner in which all types of machines and devices interact, communicate and learn from each other. At this early stage, it』s similar to the Internet of Things, or IoT — the concept in which everyday objects such as cars, refrigerators, TVs, ovens and home security systems are all connected to the internet.

Add on top of that a layer of artificial intelligence that saves time by making decisions for you, and you see how these products and ideas can make your life easier and even create new business opportunities.

As one IBM analyst puts it, the thing that AI and IoT have in common is the use and interpretation of big data. Companies that invest in all three areas — AI, IoT and big data — stand a good chance at becoming leaders and innovators in the fourth industrial revolution.

One way to look at the fourth industrial revolution and the rise of things such as IoT, robotics and big data, is that it will lead to the loss of jobs humans have held for years. That could in turn create a paradox in which societies can produce things much more efficiently, but there are fewer workers left who can afford those things.

That』s the doom-and-gloom forecast. Another sunnier vision of the future suggests big data, machine learning and AI could create a society in which everyone lives in luxury. And since humans won』t have to worry about doing the grunt work that machines have taken over, they can instead focus on other tasks that are exclusively human, such as invention, art, science and exploration.

In the end, it』s likely that this Industry 4.0 will cause many industries to lose jobs, but it』s up to humans to create new opportunities.

Big data already plays a huge role in your life, even if you don』t know it. While we』re not quite to the level of 「Minority Report,」 big data is already used to target advertising based on factors including your age, gender, shopping habits and location. Companies say they use such data on an aggregate and anonymous level, but the technology is there to target advertising specifically to you.

This is already happening, and the surface has only just been scratched. As we dive deeper into the reality of a fourth industrial revolution, big data will play an increasingly crucial role.

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