While previous Industrial Revolutions have increasingly seen the human as a cog in the system, each step reducing the cognitive content of work, Industry 4.0 contrarily views the human as a knowledge worker putting increased focus on cognitive skills and specialised craftsmanship. The opportunities that technological advancement provide are in abundance and to be able to fully take advantage of them, understanding how humans interact with increasingly complex technology is crucial. The Operator 4.0, a framework of eight plausible scenarios attempting to highlight what Industry 4.0 entails for the human worker, takes advantage of extended reality technology; having real-time access to large amounts of data and information; being physically enhanced using powered exoskeletons or through collaboration with automation; and finally real-time monitoring of operator status and health as well as the possibility to collaborate socially with other agents in the Industrial Internet of Things, Services, and People. Some of these will impose larger cognitive challenges than others and this paper presents and discusses parts of the Operator 4.0 projections that will have implications on cognitive work.
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