Analytical Essay on the Positive and Negative Impacts of Industrial Revolution

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Revolution, reformation of an existing constitution, has taken place throughout mankind's’ history and varies enormously in terms of strategies, durations and beliefs. One of the revolutions that created major modifications in human history is Industrial Revolution. Industrial revolution is the progression to new manufacturing processes. During the revolution, production of the necessities of life, such as- foods, clothings, shelter, fuels, began to process within industries by powerful machineries in the century from 1750 to 1850. Technologies as steam engines, electric generator, telegraph etc made the revolution possible and increased the improvement of accomplishment in science. Therefore, the Industrial Revolution helped in forming the modern world. Compared to the past Industrial Revolution, groundbreaking changes are happening in the modern era both in the workforce and society due to production through artificial intelligence, robotics and industrial automation.

Industrial Revolutions increased the production enormously by bringing wealth and power, also this massive revolution effected on the working conditions of common people. People developed ways to have new machines generating the items, instead of items being manufactured by hand. It changed traditional economic structure for native markets with industrial plants and huge trade markets that gradually breeded the capitalist economy system. According to Kaldor (1977), “The countries which have succeeded in becoming large centres of industries have become richly endowed with capital- both in terms of plant, machinery etc. and of human skill” (p. 193). But capitalism development also formed a clear system of classes. At the top class of the society were upper class and they were wealthy and owned the factories, where many individuals worked. They weren't working with their hands, but they weren't noble peoples either. The lower class were the workers, who had little amount of money in their lives and never had any property. Life was very unstable for the lower class. They could lose their jobs immediately as there were always more labourers to replace the old workers. There was a clear class conflict between them as the factory owners’ aim was to increase profits in any way possible while the working class was viewed as a machine piece. Moreover, inside the industries, the atmosphere was poisonous and very unhealthy. For example; coal burning, metallic goods production, using basic chemical created enormous air pollution. Absence of suitable sanitation, deficiency of management of wastes from industries caused additional problems in the inner atmosphere. However, the Industrial Revolution has also led to significantly reduced prices for production. As factories began to grow all over, it created tremendous job opportunities and also offered new innovations to be developed. With all the aforementioned impacts, the production state of all the people were relatively progressing at the time of Industrial Revolution than previous times.

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Technological advances may produce dramatic change in industrial productivity and to the industrial lives of employees. Use of artificial intelligence, robotics and automation in industries may make it possible to collect and analyze wide data to enable quicker, more durable and more effective methods to produce products of better quality at lower prices. Robots are developing to be even more useful by becoming better adaptable, more autonomous and more collaborative. They can eventually interact and work hand in hand with humans efficiently. These robots with artificial intelligence will cost less and have a greater range of capabilities. Gerbert, Lorenz, et al. (2015) stated an example that, “Kuka, a European manufacturer of robotic equipment, offers autonomous robots that interact with one another. These robots are interconnected so that they can work together and automatically adjust their actions to fit the next unfinished product in line”. The absolute omission of emotion will lead the artificial intelligence of robotics to take all the decisions entirely realistically. Besides, industrial automation can also add more effective use of materials, better quality of the goods, improved safety, lessen working weeks and decreased processing times in the factory. As world is dealing with a shortfall of skilled workers, automation can lessen the impacts of qualified labor insufficiency. But automated machine, as it will run on a motor, may produce more pollution than a human worker. Also, there is a huge possibility where human jobs will be replaced by the machines which can produce massive unemployment in a nation. Added to that, if any accident happen in the process of artificial intelligence, industries can face massive loss. Therefore, with all the merits and demerits, the denoted technologies have the higher possibility to create the next monumental transformation within workforces.

Not only in the economic status, the past Industrial Revolution's developments also brought major social changes to the people. The revolution caused increasing in population and urbanization, as a numerous number of people moved to cities in lookup for employment. According to Wyatt (2009) “In 1830 approximately 14% of British people lived in cities of 50,000 or larger. That percentage had increased three times by 1900” (p. 62). Therefore, slums grew and the working classes had to live in congested environments with minimum ease and safety. Furthermore, in order to support family, poor children often worked full time jobs during the Industrial Revolution. This practice of child labor continued throughout much of the Industrial Revolution period. Labor union group, which is consisted of industrial workers, started to join together to fight for improvement of the working conditions, which fueled for political revolution in the industrialized nations. Moreover, there was a history of warfare placed from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the beginning of the Atomic Age. Grant (2016) stated that, “Industrialization also made possible a new kind of warfare, one capable of bringing death on a scale never seen before” (p. 225). European nations got the ability of developing large armies, navies, air forces, and many destructively evolved weapon. This increasement in technology in 19th century led to a total massacre in the warfare. On the other hand, it also put some beneficial impact on the society too. Women employment were progressing as they could play a role in producing goods. Furthermore, industrialization lessen the cost of the products, which made easier for people to buy goods for households. Hence it created some significant impacts on society which are still continuing in today’s world.

The new technologies have been reforming countries and people’s lives tremendously. Firstly, as robots will work beside human and there is a possibility robots with artificial intelligence may even replace human, there is a huge chance of competition between humans and robots rather than collaboration. Secondly, the office workers will be allowed to control and process such amount of informations which were previously unimaginable. It may be misused unethically through the owners of other competitor industries or opposition party, which ultimately can uprise a political conflict. Moreover, developed nations may create strong individualism economy system through artificial intelligence, robotics and automation. it can ultimately generate more prosperity for developed states and less for developing or undeveloped states. There are still plenty of slums in present world’s cities, but urbanization may get reduced in future while robots will work with people in industries. However, there has been debates going on either robots will take away human’s employments or it will only make a sustainable world. According to Baldwin (2019), “ Not all of us are equally good at social cognition, just as we aren’t all equally good at algebra. But as it turns out, computers are much better at algebra than they are at social cognition, and this provides an edge that will allow humans to stay competitive in jobs that involved social interaction” (p. 238). Besides, automation comes at the expense that could make it economically unattractive. It also depends on data, which may always not be available in the necessary quality or quantity. Because of these problems, human labor in the majority of the profession would remain superior and cheaper. So the impact of fourth imaginable Industrial Revolution on society is controversial.

With all the positive and negative impacts, industrialization has opened up the all the possibilities for a progressive, faster, cheaper, stronger world. The mountainous movement of Industrial Revolution changed the shape of manufacturing process to daily lives. Similarly, artificial intelligence, robotics and industrial automation are creating a gigantic transitions in modern world regarding business field to the society.

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