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Although artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for a few decades now, many people still don’t fully understand it. The most basic definition of AI is that it’s a branch of computer science. The primary goal of AI developers is to create technology with the intellectual capacity of humans. When operating at peak, AI-based machines can mimic and learn human-level intelligence.
Currently, AI developers look to human reasoning as a guide and create systems based on human intelligence. With a narrow AI system, the machine can only complete tasks that a human has programmed it to do. The goal is to adopt a more general AI system that can mimic human reasoning.
The Relationship Between AI and Supply Chain Distribution
Making a supply chain more efficient is the overarching goal of all managers. AI helps them do just that. One example is the transportation of products to the warehouse. This typically requires paying a driver wages and benefits as well as giving him or her adequate rest breaks during the day. With an autonomous vehicle powered by AI, a company can transport and deliver its products without the need for a driver. This is just one common example of how supply chains across the country have benefited greatly from AI.
AI and the American Workplace
AI has become commonplace in the workforce over the past several years as the costs to design and implement it continue to drop. Improvements in technology have also played a large role, giving developers the ability to program machines to make complex decisions. This automation of complex decision-making represents perhaps the biggest opportunity in the future of artificial intelligence.
Many jobs in the manufacturing industry have disappeared due to automation. This is not just in the United States, but Chinese factories as well. However, managers who intend to replace workers with robots don’t simply intend to let those workers go. They prefer to retrain them to complete higher-level tasks such as maintenance, programming, or design. These same managers also hope to create AI-enabled machines that go beyond task automation to the development of new business processes altogether.
Machine vision is another recent use of AI. This machine has cameras attached that have several times the sensitivity of the human eye. This enables it to spot manufacturing defects that a person would miss due to their microscopic nature. The machine learned to do this by first viewing a small sample of images, learning their patterns, and automatically detecting small issues with circuit boards and other manufacturing parts.
Robots Can’t Show Initiative
For all its promise of making things better, cheaper, and faster, machines powered with AI can never decide to start a project or how to respond to changes in customer preferences. These tasks will always require the input of a human. However, it won’t be long until AI becomes a part of the entire journey of most products from initial development to delivery to the end user.