Is covid-19 a trigger to the start of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Africa Data School
5 min readJan 13, 2021

December 2019 marked the beginning of a new era when the Corona-virus was first detected and confirmed as a pandemic. The disease brought about unexpected changes in our lives. With every change that comes in, a new behavior kicks in. Since the start of the pandemic, we have had numerous innovations and inventions. With each innovation, we tend to solve a problem. With a pandemic that limits our social norms such as handshaking and gatherings technology becomes the next stop to evade the limitations.

Covid is here, and it is up to us to use what we have to keep it under control. Is the pandemic a trigger to the start of a new industrial revolution? in this article, we hope to answer this question.



In December 2019, a local outbreak was detected in Wuhan (Hubei, China). The outbreak has since spread to mainland China as well as 185 other countries and regions. With it brings challenges and changes that trigger the minds of all from the young to the old. With every country initiating a response to the virus, we have leaned on the technology sector and specifically Artificial intelligence (AI), Data Science, Machine learning, and technology to track and fight the pandemic. To understand the disease, We need data, We try to observe the data use it to gain insights that enable us to understand the disease, and find a way to control it.

It has brought about much progress in the technology sector that drives us to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. After all Covid 19 might be the trigger to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The fourth Industrial Revolution

Also, called industrial 4.0. Going back in time, we see three Industrial Revolutions that precede the fourth Revolution, each setting a foundation for the next. Today we are awaiting a Revolution that combines the first three.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a new era that focuses on automation, inter-connectivity, Machine learning, Artificial intelligence, and data. The 4IR is an age that describes the combination of the physical, digital, and biological worlds. The 4IR aims at increased productivity, With technologies like AI, and automation we can make smart decisions by not only following our guts but also combining it with the available data. With the Fourth Industrial Revolution comes great opportunities and serious risks. New technologies can process information faster, this, in turn, drives economic growth, improved health systems, individual empowerment, and entrepreneurship.

What makes covid the trigger to the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

To fight the pandemic, Fields that came into play are Artificial intelligence, Machine Learning, Drone technology, Computer vision, Robotics, and Data Science. These technologies form the basis of the fourth Industrial Revolution.

Artificial intelligence and Covid 19

AI to identify drugs that have been developed in the past to fight other diseases that could be purposed to fight corona-virus. By studying the molecular setup of existing drugs with AI, We want to identify the drugs that can disrupt the way COVID-19 works. With data, we can use AI to understand the setup and the structure of the disease. This is a leap forward towards the fight against the pandemic.

Artificial intelligence in the medical sector.

AI is used to identify, track, and forecast outbreaks this makes it possible to prepare and in the best case to avoid a pandemic.

AI to assist in the medical diagnosis. To understand a disease We need to look at the data provided by the patient. Data is fed to an AI that explains the type the symptoms of a disease, compare the data then makes a diagnosis for a patient

Drone technology

The use of drones for delivery purposes is a step forward in the fight against covid. It has enabled us to avoid social gatherings and crowded places as we try to combat the pandemic.

The need and advancement in technology bring efficiency and opens up a window to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Machine learning applications in the combat against Covid 19

Medical diagnosis. To understand a disease, We need to look at the data provided by the patient. ML models can study data from the patient and give a diagnosis based on the findings.

Emotion Analysis. Analyzing the behavior of a covid 19 patient is important. It helps to identify one who is likely to be infected. By using Computer vision technology an algorithm can detect by observing the behavior.

One common application of machine learning is the creating of chat-bots. Creating chat bots that offer clinical assistance by answering the most basic questions about the corona-virus has helped to reduce the workloads of the front line workers in the medical sector.

More and More advances in ML are taking us closer and closer to the 4IR.

Data Science

It is a field that uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms, and systems to extract knowledge and insights from data. To understand how Coronavirus affects the human body, we need data from different populations in different places with a different mode of life. Once we have the right data, we can see the patterns and insights that assist in the fight against covid 19.

Data is an important factor that tells us the story about Covid 19.

medical experts looking at an MRI scan of a patient.

Robotics and Covid 19

A Robot is not susceptible to covid 19. Therefore a robot is used to sterilize the medical equipment clean and fumigate public places, deliver food and supplies, and perform other tasks. This reduces the risks of contracting the disease.

The fourth Industrial Revolution looks at automating the tasks that are inhumane and repetitive. The use of robots to perform tasks that reduce the risks of contracting covid 19 brings us even closer to the 4th IR.


The combination of the technologies above and Biology brings us to the age of Corona-virus.

When you combine several technologies, we get more than an era We have a Revolution. The Fourth Revolution is an age that will change all that we are used to. Covid 19 disease ushered in a new mode of life similarly the fourth Industrial Revolution will alter our lives. Covid 19 triggered a change in our lives, and it might just be the start of the 4th IR.

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Africa Data School



Africa Data School

Intensive training for a career in artificial intelligence and machine learning.