The opportunity for AI in manufacturing

 |   Kevin Wo, Managing Director, Microsoft Singapore

In January 2018, Microsoft published The Future Computed as an ongoing discussion on artificial intelligence (AI) and its role in society. This week, we launched The Future Computed: AI and Manufacturing to provide an in-depth look at how AI is transforming the manufacturing sector by optimising digital operations and driving efficiencies, enabling new products and services, and allowing for safer work environments.

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We decided to focus the second The Future Computed book on manufacturing because the industry plays such a central role in economies around the world, including Singapore. Also, as in previous industrial revolutions, the manufacturing industry is once again at the forefront of adopting new transformational technologies.

In a recent study conducted by Microsoft in partnership with IDC Asia/Pacific, it was discovered that while manufacturing business leaders in Asia Pacific agree that AI is instrumental to their organisation’s competitiveness, almost 60 percent of the manufacturers that IDC spoke to as part of the study have not yet adopted as part of their business today.

From better integrating AI into their existing operations, including how data is used and processed, to building an AI-ready workforce, there is an urgency for manufacturers to address these issues before they can fully harness the full potential of AI for their organisation.

Written by Greg Shaw – co-author of Hit Refresh with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and The Ability Hacks about technology for people with disabilities – this book offers a timely look at how society can respond to some of the challenges AI creates, and the need to develop new laws and regulations to address workforce disruption and develop AI in an ethical and responsible manner.

The book does not pretend to have all the answers. But we hope that it will play a role in furthering discussions about how to deliver this new technology responsibly and help manufacturers better understand the steps they need to take in their AI journey. We hope that the customer stories shared by ABB, Colfax, Jabil, Tetra Pak, Toyota Materials Handling and ZF on the progress they are making on their AI journey can serve as practical case studies for manufacturers in Singapore to shine light on specific areas of business that are prime for innovation and adoption of AI.

I encourage you to download your free copy of The Future Computed: AI & Manufacturing and invite you to reach out for a further discussion around the lessons in the book and how we can help you in your AI journey.

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