On cusp of “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” adaptive learning promises smooth transition to smarter workforce

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With AI, robotics, and big data quickly becoming essential facets of the global economy, experts are beginning to refer to the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” as a way of placing our rapidly changing world in historical context.

Originally coined by Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, with his 2016 book, the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” refers to an exponential acceleration of the recently computerized economy of the late 20th century (also known as the “Third Industrial” or “Digital Revolution”). Whereas the first and second Industrial Revolutions were characterized by the new means of production driven by the newfound powers of coal and steam, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will bring into question the very nature of our relationship to work.

Bernard Marr, a futurist, author, and specialist in new technologies, commented in Forbes that “The Fourth Industrial Revolution is disrupting almost every industry in every country and creating massive change in a non-linear way at unprecedented speed.

Summarizing his concept of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Schwab writes: “The possibilities of billions of people connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge, are unlimited. And these possibilities will be multiplied by emerging technology breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing.”

Moreover, while “we do not yet know just how it will unfold, one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.

Schwab goes on to describe the economic impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: “the demand for highly skilled workers has increased while the demand for workers with less education and lower skills has decreased.” The resulting “hollowing out of the middle,” Schwab says, has led to stagnating wages and a rise in social tension in response to a “winner-take-all” economy.

One necessary response to this development is to redirect resources toward re-educating the workforce, so that they may be better equipped with the new kinds of skills that are and will be required of 21st century labor. While on the one hand AI and machine learning have disrupted the traditional economy, they also offer new ways of educating that will help us better adapt to the challenges we face.

Adaptive learning from intellADAPT uses AI to automatically generate lesson plans that are tailored to the needs of each individual learner. After completing just one introductory lesson to determine strongest learning strategies, the adaptive learning platform is able to plot out a path to success. This means a better rate of retention for learners with less time required to get there.

For both large companies and individual workers hoping to adapt to a new era of knowledge labor, adaptive learning is the best chance of turning the threat of disruption into an opportunity for success. For younger students as well, adaptive learning represents a massive opportunity for improvement on the traditional style of education that is no longer preparing them for the rapidly changing world that awaits.

Students, teachers, and corporate clients all stand to benefit from this new approach to education. Learn more about intellADAPT today and see how we can help you adapt and prepare for the economy of the 21st century.