Cenk Okan Özpay

Cenk Okan Özpay, working on sotware engineering and data analytics.

Earth and Technology
Technological developments are admirable but the question of what will happen to people is growing steadily with the increasing world population. (Photo: Ankara University)

When Murat Yetkin asked me to put my comments on technology, I had to think a lot about my first article on this platform. At first, I planned to cover the technologies that will make a difference in 2020. But this issue has lost its meaning for now due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). That’s why I wanted to convey, instead, my views about where this pandemic and technology intersect.

Industry 4.0

China is a great production force. In today’s world, there is only Germany that can withstand this power, and it can do it with its technology and working discipline. China is improving its technology and domain every single day. Industry 4.0, discussed in every major technology event, is actually a method that Germany pioneered and developed to increase its competitiveness with China.

Industry 4.0 is based on the IoT (Internet of Things) and big data technologies. It is designed to increase efficiency and prevent waste of resources. Resources focus on efficient use of time, which is the main resource, primarily raw materials.

Let’s take a German car as an example. Let’s call it Car 4.0. A microprocessor will be placed on this German car so it knows that it will be sent to Turkey. It will be aware that it will be gray, that it will have an automatic gearbox, and that it will run on diesel fuel.

Productivity, efficiency and productivity

Huge computer systems (which we call cloud-computing) will know all the production stages of this car. The robot welding the sedan will know that the car will be sent to Turkey as well as where it should weld the car’s trunk. The robot that mixes the paints will know that Car 4.0 will be gray and that it must adjust the paint mixture accordingly. The painting oven, which is actually a robot itself, knows how many coats of paint Car 4.0 degrees will need for the conditions in Turkey and how many will be calculated in advance. The assembly line will know where the Car 4.0 is, except in the case of a few human interventions, in seconds; it will transmit any delay to the host. Then it will install the GPS map of Turkey. With the Internet of Things, sensors on each robot and assembly line will send data to the main computers continuously.

Alles (everything) 4.0

The factory 4.0 will load this vehicle on the truck, and then Port 4.0 will notify the order of loading into the automation program required for loading Car 4.0 to Ship 4.0. Ship 4.0 will constantly inform the satellite on its whereabouts and instantly make storm and current adjustments. Accordingly, with minimal fuel consumption, it will be approaching the harbor in Turkey. Finally, Car 4.0 will reach to Cenk 4.0. Most likely, in the next 10 years, a chip will be installed in Cenk to track its health and identity.

The important issue here is that there will be no more light in Factory 4.0, as robots do not need light. “Lightless factories” are becoming widespread in Germany and the world: factories without humans, except for dozens of robots and a few automation technicians. Driverless vehicles are also becoming widespread, and the number of people in Truck 4.0 and Ship 4.0 will soon be minimized.

This whole thing, end to end

If we were in the ideal world, we would be immersed in the magnificent harmony of this whole system. Large computer systems would adjust the life for us. But here is where the chain breaks, we are too much as a population for such an ideal world. In order to compete with China, Germany activates Industry 4.0 with robots, automation, decision support systems that decide instead of people, and if it does not, she will not be able to survive. Other countries are also following Germany. Factories will work with fewer people and will make larger productions with more robots.

But what will the idle people do, how will they find food, how will they live? How do we protect unemployed people? How are we going to reduce the pressure of the crowded populations? How will the economy survive because the unemployed people will not be able to consume to support the basis of the current economy? Don’t we have bigger problems than developing more advanced technology, building bigger structures, larger and faster planes?

Technology’s pressure on the world

The development of technology in this way puts population pressure on the world. The current capitalist system is based on continuous growth, building new products and markets. More efficient, more profitable, faster, tougher competition. I will explain the pressure of our world on the population and the environment in more detail in my next article

Bye for now. See you on healthy days.