How industry is driving ‘world-changing’ AI

Advances in artificial intelligence are coming up from the factory floor as much as they are from academic research.
20 December 2018

Does AI innovation prosper on the factory floor? Source: Shutterstock

Statista predicted that the global Artificial Intelligence (AI) market was expected to be worth around US$2.42 billion by the end of 2017.

The market’s most profitable facet was and remains the AI for enterprise applications market, now estimated to be worth around US$360 million worldwide.

From image recognition to geophysical feature detection— to object identification, detection, and classification— the diverse field of computer simulation is reshaping industry.

“There is so much potential for AI development that it’s getting harder to imagine a future without it,” wrote Or Shani, Founder and CEO of Adgorithms.

“We’re already seeing an increase in workplace productivity thanks to AI advancements,” he adds. “By the end of the decade, AI will be commonplace in everyday life, whether it’s self-driving cars, more accurate weather predictions.”

Microsoft’s early pledges to make AI functionalities an integral part of every new software product have been joined by Google refining DeepMind to break through new frontiers of advanced machine learning, and IBM’s Watson revolutionizing cancer treatment and research. It’s clear that technology’s most influential players stand firmly behind AI.

Figures from Narrative Science state that 62 percent of all organizations will be driven by AI from 2018. For example, the technology is beginning to permeate every aspect of the manufacturing industry, bringing us ‘smart’ factories that incorporate data from supply chains, design teams, production lines, and quality control to form a highly-intelligent, cost- and time-efficient production lines.

In terms of design, AI and simulation software is changing the game.

“Efficient use of simulation can help optimize the entire production process, from design, to prototyping, and to manufacturing,” says Valerio Marra, PhD, Marketing Director at COSMOL Inc.

“It is of the essence for the success of any product that the implementation of any design or manufacturing iterations happens quickly and efficiently,” he adds. “The use of simulation apps enables collaboration across departments, thus having an important impact on production quality and promoting a streamlined workflow.

“For example, departments that are not normally utilizing simulation such as manufacturing, sales, and even marketing, can use simulation apps to test the effect of a design change on the production process.”

While AI is still universally considered to be in its infancy, frequent advances send shockwaves through industry are pressuring business leaders to reconsider key organizational structures. On top of becoming more collaborative and team-focused, AI developments are generally boosting efficiency.

It’s problematic from a purchaser’s point of view to separate the fact from fiction when it comes to the new tech. ‘Driven by AI’ is a message seemingly attached to every product from face cream to cell phones these days; one is reminded of the ‘nuclear’, or ‘atomic’ labels given to products in the 1950s and 60s. Sometimes prevalent science and technology are just too glamorous to resist for the marketing department.

But the future is undeniably technology-rich and exciting, with AI simulation software breaking through boundaries of what we once deemed possible. “The challenge for manufacturers will be to embrace the potential of this disruption and boldly explore how they might change the way they design and manufacture their product,” Machine Design explains.

“For many, the essential value that their product delivers to their end customers may be changing and they may need to reassess the best way to utilize the creative potential and experience of their workforce.”

If the workforce numbers among it an AI-powered algorithm, then a business stands to do more than cut a swathe through its competition. Properly used, artificial intelligence will be world-changing.