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UJ Embraces The Fourth Industrial Revolution!

UJ Embraces The Fourth Industrial Revolution!

Est. Reading: 2 minutes
Whether you realise it or not, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is here, and it's already transforming life in subtle yet powerful ways. As a leader in academic research in Africa, UJ has embraced the arrival of the 4IR technology that is shaping our future.

Improvements In The Accurate Detection Of Breast Cancer

In a small clinic in a rural South African community, a nurse gives a woman the results of her breast cancer X-ray. The nurse is neither a radiologist nor an oncologist, but the software through which she has run her patient’s X-ray will ensure that her diagnosis is accurate. The need for her patient to be referred to a hospital and placed on an extended waiting list to see a specialist is no more.

During the course of 2020, this hypothetical scenario will become a reality. For months, Professor Qing-Guo Wang and his team from the Institute for Intelligent Systems at the University of Johannesburg have been using artificial intelligence (AI) to create an advanced diagnostic system. Once complete, it will allow medical practitioners with only the most basic training to provide affordable and accurate breast cancer diagnoses, no matter where they are in the country.

As the Fourth Industrial Revolution unfolds, its impact on the lives of ordinary people becomes more consequential. In this case, consequence equates to better healthcare, and better healthcare means healthier people and more resilient societies.

Essential Improvements To Gwakani

Situated in the far north-eastern corner of South Africa, near the borders of Zimbabwe and Mozambique, the deeply rural village of Gwakwani is home to just 100 people. Historically, it had no running water, electricity, cell phone reception or internet access, and for its residents, the chance of change seemed slim.

But in 2014, the School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) started to work with Gwakwani to make essential improvements. A solar borehole pump was installed, as were solar-powered streetlights and indoor lamps, large cold storage units, a creche and a solar-powered bakery. Today, the bakery employs eight residents and makes bread readily available to the village and other nearby communities.

All of the technology installed in Gwakwani is monitored remotely through an Internet of Things network that can be accessed and controlled from UJ. This helps to ensure that the interventions introduced in the village operate smoothly and sustainably – from the present day well into the future.

Universal Connectivity With Generic 4IR

First there was the Internet, which connected people with people. Then came the Internet of Things, which connected 4IR technologies with machines. And now, there is the Internet of Everything, which connects people with people, people with machines and machines with machines.

As a leading proponent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in Africa, UJ recognises the potential of the Internet of Everything (IoE) to make universal connectivity more relevant and valuable than ever before, turning information into action that creates new capabilities and unprecedented opportunities for people.

Already, UJ are applying 4IR to their teaching and learning, using it to advance not just ideas, but skills, expertise and capacity. UJ believes in the not-too-distant-future, people everywhere will experience real benefits and meaningful change in their lives as a result of 4IR.

For More Information

For more information about UJ and embracing the eminent 4IR, visit

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