When examining the past, it becomes clear that advancements in technology have undoubtedly been the leading driver in the progression of human civilization. Just like the wheel and compass revolutionized previous generations, developments of the smartphone and the Internet have completely changed society today, making it hard to even imagine a world without them. While it’s easy to look back in history and identify the key breakthroughs, most people are unable to foresee the technological innovations of the future before they become fully embedded into everyday life. In fact, most new technologies are ridiculed in their beginning stages, with “experts” claiming they’re unachievable and unnecessary. However, despite the doubt that stubbornly clouds the present, many believe that current technological trends are on the precipice of igniting a fourth industrial revolution; this time sparked by the rise of mass automation. While economies directed by humans are likely to never disappear, what is starting to happen is the formation of a parallel economy run entirely by machines. Similar to industrial revolutions of the past, the current one is coalescing around certain technological breakthroughs, specifically in the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Distributed Ledger Technology(DLT). While the average person has little to no awareness of what’s coming, the trajectory of modern technology isn’t going unnoticed by everyone. Brian Arthur, an economist famous for developing the modern approach to increasing returns, has proposed a thesis to describe the phenomenon and coined it, “the autonomy economy.” Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, has echoed comparable sentiments and even wrote a book about it called “The Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Before taking a closer look at current technological trends, it’s beneficial to study the impacts that the first three industrial revolutions had on society. Possessing historical knowledge can go a long way in helping one envision how the Fourth Industrial Revolution will impact the future.