Michael's Metaphors of Life Journal header image 2

Renegade Metaphors in the Sixth Industrial Revolution

September 22nd, 2018 by Michael Dyet


Hmmm, will metaphor be mankind’s last stand when machines rule the world?

We all learned about The Industrial Revolution in school. It was the dawning of the age of mechanical production beginning around 1790 with the advent of the steam engine. Lives that were formerly centered on farming were transformed as factories gave rise to urbanization.

But did you know there have been three industrial revolutions? I confess I did not.

The Second Industrial Revolution was the age of science and mass production leading to gasoline engines and airplanes. By the early part of the 20th century, Henry Ford was mass producing the Model T on an assembly line.

We are living in the age of The Third Industrial Revolution, aka The Digital Revolution, which began with semiconductors and mainframe computing and evolved to personal computing and the Internet followed by the cloud and digital handheld devices.

In the spirit of the only constant is change, we are now staring down The Fourth Industrial Revolution – an era in which more than half of all workplace tasks will be carried out by machines compared to the current figure of 29%. The experts say we will reach that threshold by 2025. Yes, a mere seven years from now.

From what I have read, that translates into 75 million jobs lost worldwide. The good news is that the experts predict those job losses will be offset by the creation of 133 million new jobs. Those new jobs will, of course, be primarily in technology occupations – a tough retraining challenge for workers currently doing the jobs which machines will take away.

If you follow my blog regularly, you will know that I have an aversion to stampeding technological advancement. High tech machines and I just do not get along. Thankfully, I will be out of the workplace by the time we pass the 50% threshold in terms of jobs done by machines.

Gazing into my crystal ball, I am predicting two more waves of revolution.

The Fifth Industrial Revolution will be The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Revolution and will take us to the day that 75% jobs are done by machines. The advance of AI will empower machines to oversee the work of other machines moving humans one step closer to being obsolete. Let’s say that threshold is reached by 2035.

I am predicting that The Sixth Industrial Revolution will be the “I Robot” Revolution – named in honour of the Will Smith movie that warned of its coming. In this revolution, artificial intelligence machines collectively decide that humans are too imperfect and cannot be trusted to take care of themselves. The machines take over in the interests of protecting the human race from itself.

I hope I will be six feet underground before The Sixth Industrial Revolution dawns. But at the rate technology is advancing, I may live to see it.

What happens to metaphor when the machines take over? I fear the machines may outlaw metaphor since it is the one thing that we humans will always be better at than the complex, thinking machines we created.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at or the novel online companion at

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

Tags:   · · · · No Comments