Artificial intelligence and machine learning - have the hype topics already reached the companies?

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are among the most important trend topics for companies and their employees worldwide. This development is no surprise, as the solutions promise advantages for many application areas. These include, for example, the analysis of financial transactions and the sale of goods, but also security solutions that automatically parry cyber-attacks. Important fields of application for AI and ML can also be found in industrial environments, for example in robotics, predictive maintenance, autonomous machines or self-driving vehicles.


IDG Research: Departments recognize the potential more strongly than the management level

Specialist departments have long recognized the potential, while managing directors and CIOs are currently reacting rather cautiously. This is proven by a recent German study by IDG Research Services. According to the study, only 20 percent of managers see the benefits of AI and ML. In contrast, 36 percent of employees in the specialist departments already recognize high potential. According to the study, this may be due to the fact, that departments have a deeper knowledge of networked production and procurement processes. One reason for this is Industry 4.0, in which many departments are already specifically active. But it is also about concepts such as the proactive maintenance of machines, which is based on an automated analysis and evaluation of machine data. This requires algorithms that evaluate the corresponding information and automatically adjust maintenance intervals. The automatic procurement of required spare parts and work equipment, for example, can significantly reduce plant downtimes.


Gartner study: Artificial intelligence with enormous potential

Like IDG-Research, the analysts of the Gartner Group also assess the potential of KI highly. According to a recent Gartner forecast, the global goodwill of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for 2018 is estimated at a total of $1.2 billion. This represents an increase of 70 percent compared to the previous year. John-David Lovelock, Research Vice President at Gartner comments: "With advances in computing power, volume, speed and data diversity, and advances in deep neural networks (DNNs), AI promises to become the most disruptive of all technologies for the next 10 years. (Gartner Special Report "Deliver Artificial Intelligence Business Value)


AI is relevant but not yet installed nationwide

According to the latest findings of IDC market researchers, AI is relevant for all industries, but not yet installed everywhere. However, the young solution topic meets with high demand, as e.g. 69 percent of the German companies, surveyed for a current study, are already planning to implement a new AI initiative in the next 12 months. "We are convinced that artificial intelligence will be present in every company in two years," says Matthias Zacher, Manager Research and Consulting at IDC and project manager of the study. "In addition to the projects initiated by the companies, AI automatically reaches the business and IT departments via apps, modern applications and cloud services in the form of updates and new releases. Zacher advises companies to focus on AI in a timely and targeted manner, in order to derive added value from solutions already available on the market as quickly as possible. A look at other Western European countries shows, that the proportion of companies that already use or pilot AI, is higher in Great Britain and the Scandinavian countries, than in Germany. (


EU Commission provides funding

The EU has already recognized the potential of AI and announces far-reaching investments in its "Plan for the Expansion of Artificial Intelligence". Digital Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said, that around 20 billion euros are to be invested in this area by 2020, in order to prepare the European economy and society for future developments. In addition to higher investments in research and development, the EU Commission is also planning a network of "Digital Innovation Hubs" specializing in AI. In the course of this, an On-Demand platform is also to be set up, that will give small and medium-sized enterprises access to the latest AI technologies and encourage them to test and use them.


Entering the Digital Age of Montage with Artificial Intelligence



Industry 4.0, digital networking and artificial intelligence will also change the classic assembly processes. Automatica 2018, which will take place at the Munich Trade Fair Centre from 19 to 22 June, will show the latest developments in this respect. Cobots, digital assistance systems, edge computing and transport drones will be on display, as well as changed processes in the field of assembly and handling technology. Artificial intelligence and machine learning play a decisive role in many solution scenarios, both on the surface and in the background.


Humans continue to play an essential role

One thing is already clear in advance: robotics and automation will not displace people in the digital factory but will change their tasks and their workplace. You find more about this topic in Kontron’s Blog of 9th May . In addition to artificial intelligence, human intelligence will remain an important factor in the production operations of the future. Man, and machine will interact even more intensively in the future to achieve a completely new level of performance. Human dexterity in combination with digital assistance systems, for example, will bring manual assembly processes to the required zero-defect quality for the first time. In the digital production environment, the employee also wears the technology close to the body, for example as a communicative wristband or augmented reality glasses. Man, and machine communicate intuitively in this way. Intelligent, networked and sensitive gripping systems enable new production scenarios for Industry 4.0 and human-robot collaboration. This creates new handling and automation scenarios.


The current development shows that artificial intelligence will contribute to making the workplaces in the "Smart Factory" more ergonomic and interesting in the medium term. This benefits both, the companies and their employees.


Do you already have experience with artificial intelligence and machine learning in your company?


Pictures used: Fotolia - © kinwun and  Fotolia - © vectorfusionart



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