We’re currently at the dawn of Society 5.0, which represents the 5th form of society in the human history, boosted by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, creating new values and services, bringing a richer life to all.
In this new society, humans, objects and systems will all be connected in the cyberspace by analysis performed through Artificial Intelligence. This process will bring new added value to the industry and society as we know them, throughout multiple ways that we haven’t even imagined as possible.
Significant developments and breakthrough’s in biotech, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, cloud and fog computing, cyber-physical systems and nanotech represent game-changing advances that enable the shift from using technology to control our environment, to the technology itself becoming our environment. Thus better integrated, technology will enable a seamless experience, removing barriers to large sections of the population, which are not tech savvy, so that it can stop being about the technology itself, but rather its beneficiaries.
Nowadays, the world is in an era of drastic change. As the economy grows, demand for resources increase, lifespan becomes longer, and the aging of society is noticeable. At the same time the globalization of the economy, along with the severe competition, the concentration of wealth and regional inequality are growing. These problems must be addressed and are rightly so in this new type of society.
Having as granted that a digital transformation cannot be stopped, we must remind ourselves that there are several directions it can take. Therefore, we need to face what’s coming, incorporating the changes in a positive way, this is what Japan is doing with its proposal, Society 5.0, working in order to design a better future.
There’s obviously the negative impact of it like unemployment for example, as it is estimated that half the jobs presently will be replaced by others that do not yet exist, nevertheless we should try to incorporate those changes in a positive way, designing a better future. However, there are plenty of upsides to this revolution, as it’ll be a solution for the rapidly aging population, increasing the quality of life of the population and freeing workers from repetitive labor and their mind to more creative and intellectual stimulating work.
Society 5.0 promises the creation of value through innovation and promotion, side by side with the economic development and creative solutions for social challenges. It will be a culture oriented by imagination and creativity, capable of reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.
In order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, the plan is to “consider what kind of society we want to create and not to predict the kind of society we will actually have” - said Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman of the administrative board at the main Japanese business association Keidanren, in an article posted by the World Economic Forum. This new model of society aims to solve social issues whilst creating a better future – the idea is that it can contribute efficiently to converge to the Sustainable Development Goals.
The aim is to reduce the Greenhouse Gas emissions, redistribute wealth and correct regional inequality, along with the promotion for sustainable industrialization, through new technologies such as robots, Artificial Intelligence and big data. The goal is to incorporate these new technologies within the industry and social activities, achieving economic development and solutioning social problems at the same time.
Globally speaking, in 5.0 Society there will be an astronomical amount of information provided by sensors in our physical space that will be stored in the cyberspace. This data will then be analyzed in this same space by AI which will provide the results from the analysis to humans, in their physic spaces through various ways of interaction. This analyzed data is assured to be faithful and trustworthy and, although this is what we are being led to, there is still a long way to walk.
While it may appear as the technology itself is the focus of Society 5.0, it is rather the opposite. This society is one that puts humanity in its core, allowing for a high quality of life with the help of technology advances. If successful, Japan will be the first developed country to have a human-centered society.
For once, humanity is focusing on itself, developing a society that is centered on each and every single person, not on a future controlled and monitored by technology.
by Jorge Ribeiro & Letícia Gonçalves