There have been many advents throughout history that have changed human culture. Most are linked to discoveries, often through invention. Many events lead the way to new events building upon them. Look at the discovery of electricity. What followed its discovery were many applications for it. From electricity came electronics.
What is electronics? To put it simply, it is a generic name to describe technological devices that regulate and control electrical forces. It was arguably the concept of switching on and off small electrical circuits that introduced the second industrial revolution—the electronic revolution.
However this revolution was more an evolution over time. First was the discovery of what could be done with electricity. The biggest breakthrough was arguably how a small change in current-flow or voltage potential can be amplified through electronic technology to control a much larger electrical flow. Following that was the discovery of electronic counting. This lead to the development of the calculator, then the computer, then networks of computers.
One of the reasons this could be considered the next industrial revolution is that one of its applications was to help create new technology, which would then improve on the old and once again be applied to help create even better technology again. This closed loop of application has made a significant impact on our technological advancement. Our knowledge building process has suddenly been propelled almost exponentially with this technological advancement. The microchip and miniaturisation of electronic technology is a product of applying this technology to improving itself.
While it is easy to say both the discovery of applications for electricity and the invention of the computer are major nodes in the timeline of human development that has lead to cultural change, it is not so easy to pin it to a specific time—something needed for a revolution. These changes developed progressively over decades, so they are probably more evolution than revolution. However if the human timeline of development is looked at in its entirety, starting in Mesopotamia thousands of years ago up until today, this span of electronic evolution is so narrow it can be seen as a revolution. The electronic revolution just after the industrial revolution.
What comes next is going to be truly staggering. New almost indestructible materials, gravity control, new energy forms and subatomic (inner space) discoveries, complete discovery of our oceans, practical outer space travel, discovery that we may not be the only intelligent creatures in the universe, discovery of evidence of human creation, of other dimensions of existence beyond the physical or material realm, or perhaps our own destruction through not being able to handle these rapid changes, or a great conflict between going forward in discovery and holding back enjoying where we are now. The human mind is not beyond breakdown into insanity and that could bring all this technology and energy control against us.
If god is our creator, we can only assume we are following an intended path. Is it intended that we should stop at some point and just exist for a purpose unknown. Without a change in our mental design, that too could destroy us from within through actions resulting from boredom and perhaps insanity.
It is hard to predict future events on a timeline, however one possibility has been done for our immediate future (the next two decades). See the research presented here by Dr. Robert Goldman. http://genuity.co.za/furture-predictions-dr-robert-goldman/
CC BY 2016, article written by Gavin Lardner.