Less than a decade has passed since talk of Industry 4.0 first surfaced in manufacturing circles, yet our visionaries are already forecasting the next revolution: - Industry 5.0. If the current revolution emphasizes the transformation of factories into IoT-enabled smart facilities that utilize cognitive computing and interconnect via cloud servers, Industry 5.0 is set to focus on the return of human hands and minds into the industrial framework.
Industry 5.0 is the revolution in which man and machine reconcile and find ways to work together to improve the means and efficiency of production. Funny enough, the fifth revolution could already be underway among the companies that are just now adopting the principles of Industry 4.0. Even when manufacturers start using advanced technologies, they are not instantly firing vast swaths of their workforces and becoming entirely computerized.
In a sense, the concept of Industry 5.0 could ease some of the apprehensions that some manufacturers have voiced regarding the current revolution. Namely, that cognitive computing and cyber-machinery will eliminate the need for human hands and put millions of people out of work. To the contrary, Industry 4.0 could end up restructuring human tasks in the realm of manufacturing in ways that benefit the workers. Humans might become more likely to handle the lighter work while machines take care of the more strenuous.
The greatest advances predicted of Industry 5.0 involve the interaction of human intelligence and cognitive computing. Combined, humans and computerized machinery are expected to take manufacturing to new levels of speed and perfection. The fifth revolution could also prove more advantageous to the environment, as companies develop systems that run on renewable energy and eliminate waste.
Overall, the developments of Industry 5.0 could prove to be the full realization of what the architects of Industry 4.0 had only dreamt of at the dawn of the 2010s. As artificial intelligence improves and factory robots assume more human-like capabilities, the interaction between computers, robots and human workers will ultimately become more meaningful and mutually enlightening. And what could be healthier for the industrial environment than positive working relationships?