The other day, we had a meeting with a Japanese counterpart on the mutual collaborations that we might be having for the next couple of years, we mentioned to him about adapting the approach of Industrial Revolution 4.0 into our work ethics and the applications that we might be able to benefit out of this era.
That Japanese man laughed hard. Left us puzzled. Did we say something wrong about it? Isn’t the Industry 4.0 as the thing right now? After a while, he gave us a reply that the Japanese weren’t keen about Industry 4.0 because they regard that as something to do with Germany’s work lifestyle. Not theirs. Left us feeling guilty of bringing up the topic. Left us to be much more careful as to what kind of approaches that we should discuss with them the next time.
After a week time, I have attended a workshop organised by a Japanese organisation which was also accompanied by another colleague. During our chit chatting time, she unintentionally mentioned about Industry 4.0 again to the Japanese representative with the expectation on how to move forward with practical project that we could plan. The Japanese counterpart wryly had to answer saying that, the Japanese are not in favour with the theme. They are actually having another revolution that they saw as better than the German’s Industry 4.0. That has made us rolling our eyes. She said, the Japanese are now looking forward towards realizing the revolution of Society 5.0.
Society 5.0! Well, at that point onwards, I began digging the scopes of this so-called Japanese Revolution.
(image source: http://www8.cao.go.jp/cstp/english/society5_0/index.html)
As a matter of fact, the similarities that can be concluded from the two revolutions are:
- Both have the themes of Internet-of-Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Smart Machines, Knowledge Management and Smart Web to represent their work connectivity.
- Both emphasize on how people communicate with the machines and other people via the available Intelligent Machines.
- Both have the strengths of doing multitasking via various kind of automated media and computational platforms.
- Both are stressing on the work demand in this era as no more a single-job per man-hour, but always proceeded with another processes or as a medium to another procedures.
- Both are stressing on the free movement of one process to another and less protocol needed to get the job done.
- Both promote sustainability engineering in the midst of progressive materially-proned technology by ensuring the preservation of nature and ecology are still at their best.
On contrary, perhaps the differences that can be observed from these two ideologies are:
- Industry 4.0 is emphasizing on how to let the job done. Where as the Society 5.0 is emphasizing on how to optimise the man-hour responsibility to get the job done.
- Industry 4.0 is highlighting on the effectiveness of using the automated machines. Where as the Society 5.0 is highlighting on the effectiveness of optimising the knowledge worker with the help of the intelligent machines.
- Industry 4.0 is about computerised communications by all means. Where as the Society 5.0 is meant for the harmonisation of work with the help of intelligent machines for the benefit of the workers.
Nonetheless, their similarities beat the differences that both are optimising the use of machines, networking and computational intelligence in their work ethics. What matter most, the eccentric values of the two revolutions are on the ways that those ideals are carried out and the work culture embedded by the people of Germany and the Japanese which have defined the pillars of their differences.