Last week I wrote about a poll I conducted on instagram about how many people thought they would be impacted by automation. Not surprisingly, the majority of people did not believe they or their jobs would be at risk of automation. When I messaged a sampling of the respondents from the "Yes" and "No" camps I came to find that most people were not aware of how automation works and even more importantly that they were a target.
When I spoke with respondents about automation they envisioned an actual robot replacing them which led them to believe automation was a long ways off. This view is not only wrong it is also dangerous for people to think as they are building their futures on a false sense of security. The robots that will replace more workers will come in the form of invisible software running on servers far away from the offices once occupied by their human counterparts. Physical robots like Baxter are only really relevant to manufacturing and other physical jobs that require some form of dexterity that cannot be placed automated on a assembly line.
But this misunderstanding led me to wonder how many people were aware of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. I launched another poll on instagram to see what percentage of people where aware of the Forth Industrial Revolution. I figured it would be a solid way to take the pulse of my followers to see where they were in terms of awareness.
I structured the poll very simply: "Have you heard of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?" Yes or No.
The results were clear, 63% of the respondents were aware of the Fourth Industrial Revolution which was much higher than I had expected. But very interesting none the less. For any of you not up to date on the Fourth Industrial Revolution you can find here on the site of by clicking here.
This poll data was interesting especially since there was a significant portion of the participants who indicated that they were aware of the Fourth Industrial Revolution but also indicated that they were not at risk of automation. So clearly there was a huge divide between "being aware" and "being informed" about the Fourth Industrial Revolution. I'm not surprised when there is gap between people being aware of a subject and knowing about the issues more in detail. But I do become worried when the gap is so large that people falsely believe they understand what is going on.
Breaking down the data of how informed these users are will be the focus on my next polls where I ask them about Artificial Intelligence, Automation in Depth, Future of Work and other things. These polls will help me understand more where the users are coming from, their views and give me additional insights into where I should focus writing to get them interested in the topics impacting them.
My suspicion is that the gap between awareness, being informed and being prepared will be huge in regards to automation, future of work, artificial intelligence and the risks they and future generations are facing. But let's see.