1 st & 2 nd Industrial Revolution
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The Second Industrial Revolution Article written by Ray Kurzweil
1st Industrial Revolution • Started with John Kay’s invention of flying shuttle, 1733 • James Watt’s steam engine (1769) should be mentioned • Characteristics: Mechanization. • Impact on industry: shifted from cottage industry with craft to mass production with machine tools.
‘Products’ of 1st Industrial Revolution • • • • • • • •
Steam engine; Internal combustion engine; Electricity, and its use: Train, automobile, airplane, ocean vessel; Bulldozer, excavator; Refrigerator, air-conditioner; Skyscraper; Weapon; -
1st Industrial Revolution: a two-edge sword? • So many benefits and advantages it has brought to us. • Any negativity?
Luddite Movement • Founded in 1811. • Central issue: Workers’ job security threatened by mechanization and automation. • Automation vs. job has been a ‘pain’ issue in the process of industrial revolution, even up to now.
Automation vs. Jobs • Technological progress eliminates some current jobs. • Does new tech create more new jobs than those displaced? • Do the new jobs pay more of less than the older ones? • What about the workers who are displaced?
New Jobs Created with 1st Industrial Revolution • In 1870, 31% of Americans, or 12 millions, had jobs • In 1985, 48% of Americans, or 116 millions, had jobs.
Productivity Growth • GNP per capita was $530 in 1870, and $3,500 in 1970 (in 1958 dollars), which increase 6 times. • Percent of American workforce that involved in food production: In 1900, 34%; In 1990, only 3%.
• It is now in progress. • It is led and inspired by computers. • It extends and multiplies our mental abilities, comparing to the 1st industrial revolution that extends and multiplies our physical capabilities.
‘Products’ of 2nd Industrial Revolution • • • • • • •
Computers (PCs, …) Internet Cell phones CD, DVD, MP3, digital camera, … GPS Gene engineering Embedded in most modern machines
Potential Dangers • Humans are increasingly relying on machines whose intelligence may be as flawed as our own. • Technology can be, and is already, a powerful ally of the totalitarians and terrorists. – This danger is real, not ‘potential’.
Product Values Less Visible • Computers use almost no natural resources. • Value of a ‘high tech’ product lies primarily in the ‘knowledge’ (rather than materials) it contains.
Value of Knowledge and Technology • The value of knowledge and technology reflects the cost of research and development (R&D) of the product’s hardware and software, as well as the cost to maintain the ability of continuing to advance and further the R&D.
Computing Speed Doubled Every 2 Years • The power of computer technology (the ratio of speed over cost) has doubled every 18 to 24 months. • This is called the Moore’s Law.
A Unprecedented Challenge to Our Superiority of Intelligence • The 1st industrial revolution has helped human become superior in physical capability. • The 2nd industrial revolution is helping machines achieve intelligence, which may become superior in mental capability on top of us. • Is our intelligence unique and insuperable?
Copernicus’ Sun-Centered Theory • It is the earth that circles the sun, rather than the sun circles our earth. • Nicolaus Copernicus, Polish, 1473 – 1543, published his theory in book in 1543.
An Inexorable Advent • Machines that are getting smarter are a sword of two edges. It is looming large no matter whether we like it or not. • It cannot be stopped. • We need to comprehend it, live with it, harness it constructively, and turn threats into challenges.
How Far Can 2nd Revolution Go? • The machines of 1st revolution have over performed our muscles. • Do you think the machines of 2nd revolution will over perform our brains?
A Sustained and Divergent Process • Comparing to the 1st one, the 2nd industrial revolution is a continued process which will last long and whose impacts on human beings are divergent, boundless, and beyond estimation.
What do you think? • “While the first industrial revolution increased the demand for and the value of natural resources, the second industrial revolution is doing the opposite.” (Bottom of page 8, paragraph 18) • Do you agree? Why or why not?