In the last quarter of 2017, I had to learn something new fast and write about it – Industry 4.0. Wikipedia says that, essentially, ‘it’s the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies’. Yes. At first glance, it all sounds like gobbledygook.
As I worked on the article, though, I began to wonder how this trend would affect the publishing industry. Would we writers and storytellers respond favourably to it? How could we automate the writing process? Could robots write our stories for us? What if they started writing their own stories? What would they say about humans? Ah… the many questions, permutations and combinations.
Let’s see if I can narrow all this down a little. For a start, the term Industry 4.0 refers to the fourth industrial revolution. The steam engine marked the first industrial revolution which had the largest impact on the transportation industry. Then came electricity