Industrial manufacturing is undergoing radical change. Thanks to artificial intelligence, the fourth industrial revolution leads us directly to the intelligent digital assistant. In the future, humans and machines will mutually make important decisions and solve problems directly on site.
In the beginning, there was an old dream for humanity. In the 1950s, Herbert A. Simon, one of the founding fathers of AI research, envisioned machines capable of carrying out every man-made job within 20 years. Although we are still far from "true" artificial intelligence and the vision of H.A. Simon today, we've made made great progress since 2012 – especially in machine learning.
The automation of cognitive activities is currently advancing rapidly and AI has quickly become an integral part of our everyday lives. We all use digital assistants such as Alexa, Cortana or Siri. There are three reasons for AI success: the enormous amount of data that we generate daily, the computing power that is now available, and constantly improving algorithms. Artificial intelligence, especially in conjunction with the Internet of Things, holds great opportunities for manufacturing companies in terms of production, service and maintenance.
The real-time analysis of machine, product and service-related data, as well as the use of new human-machine interfaces (e.g., voice interface, image recognition and augmented reality) allow innovative service products to be quickly developed and easily marketed.
For service and repair work, service technicians will soon have a personal service assistant at their disposal. This wizard will guide them through repair, maintenance and diagnostic processes using voice control. At the same time, augmented reality glasses show all the necessary information in the personal field of vision. The worker himself does not notice he is supported by AI technologies in the background. AI will continuously process the information and data automatically and make it available to the worker - but only when necessary.
AI ensures that production, service and repair processes are completed faster, better, and always at the same quality level worldwide. AI technologies and digital assistants thus represent the next logical step in the fourth industrial revolution. Man and artificial intelligence will work together closely in the future.
In order to remain internationally successful, industrial companies must seize this opportunity to digitize and monetize their know-how. But that does not mean AI applications will replace humans in the industrial sector in the future. Rather, humans will gain a digital assistant that is always at their side, so that they can always make the right decision in the manufactring facility even in difficult situations, and solve problems on site faster.