From Stone Age to Artificial Intelligence Age: Transitioning Rural Communities to Innovations Economies

Over the past centuries, countries across the world have gone through different phases of economic development that have led to their current advanced economic status. The four major economic development phases in world history include:

  1. Agrarian Revolution: 10th – 16th century
    • This was characterized by the transformation of the core occupation of human beings from foraging to the domestication of crops & animals.
    • Later, the domestication led to reduced nomadic activities and people settling down in communities
    • During this phase, improved food production methods were introduced, including rational farming, crop rotation, and irrigation farming
  2. British Agricultural Revolution: 17th – 18th century
    • From communally owned land, the British Agricultural Revolution introduced the enclosure system; where rich farmers owned the land and had peasants working for them and living in servants’ quotas. This created hierarchies and social classes, and it is highlighted as one of the negative social impacts of the agricultural revolution.
    • With more food being produced and populations growing rapidly, urban areas started coming up with the accompanying pressure on social amenities such as sewer systems, transportation, education, and healthcare.
  3. Industrial Revolution: 18th – 20th century
    • The agricultural revolution gave way to the industrial revolution whereby advanced mechanization was introduced into large plantation farming. New sources of energy including electricity were invented and this leads to rapid urbanization.
    • A food-secure people now started venturing into more art, music, and other leisure activities.
    • Historians argue that without the agricultural revolution, the industrial revolution would not have been born. It took a food secure people to start exploring other things in life apart from feeding themselves. After the agricultural revolution there was more focus on the arts, music, entertainment, better clothes, better food, better housing, better means of transport, better means of communication, and more comfort; leading to higher consumerism which is the predecessor of industrialization.
  4. 4th Industrial revolution: 21st century
    • The first phase was the early mechanization of production and the use of coal and steam engines in production. The second phase is the introduction of electricity as a source of energy for mass production. The third phase was the computer age when the production processes that were powered by electricity were automated using information technology.
    • The current phase of the industrial revolution is the fourth one and it is now focused on adding cognitive power to the already automated processes.
    • Contrary to the past phases of the industrial revolution which were more concerned about economic growth, the fourth industrial revolution is more concerned with the well-being of humanity. The goal is to ensure that we all live in a safe, healthy, and clean environment that ensures humanity of the highest quality of life.
    • The fourth phase of the industrial revolution is a very interesting time in life to be alive and experience the changes as Artificial Intelligence, robotics, machine learning, the internet of things and other technological advancements take over the world by a storm. Whatever the outcome of this technological progress may be, one thing is for sure, the quality of life is going to improve significantly and the new inventions are going to mark a turning point in our human history.