Just Like Being There: SMTAi 2017 & AI Puts the Smart into Smart Factory

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is finding its way into every part of our daily lives, from assisting Amazon or Netflix in making recommendations for us to helping doctors diagnose disease earlier than ever before. But is AI what the fourth industrial revolution, or IIoT, needs to reach its full potential and deliver manufacturing solutions that learn, schedule production and get us closer to smart factory nirvana?

Gartner estimated that six billion connected “things” will be actively requesting support from AI platforms by 2018. These devices will likely include many connected appliances, cars, wearables, and other gadgets included in the broader Internet of Things market, as well as those used in industrial applications. What’s more, there are more than 1,000 startups listed on AngelList, with a combined investment of around $5.4Billion. Imagine a virtual assistant like Alexa on the factory floor assisting the production planner, advising the sales team on potential lead times, and reporting to management on the likely need for maintenance or equipment investments.

[ EE Times University: IoT — We Aren’t as Ready for IoT as We Think.]

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this January, I watched Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich, suggest that in the next decade or two products would be designed and deployed into manufacturing by AI with little or no human interaction. Intel is certainly putting its money where its mouth is, investing in many AI startups and initiatives.

I asked Joel Scutchfield from leading inspection company Koh Young, and Ranko Vujosevic from Optimal Electronics Corp., a consultancy and software solutions provider using AI, to join me to explore the idea that AI can potentially put the Smart into Smart Factory. This is what they had to say:

This panel was filmed on location in the SCOOPstudio, which was sponsored by Fuji America, KIC, Jabil, Mentor, Radius Innovation, and the Smart Factory Awards.

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