Explore how Artificial Intelligence has evolved in manufacturing, as we learn about its history and accomplishments.
What Constitutes Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a buzzword across a wide range of sectors, from automotive to textile, and for good reason. However, the complex terminology surrounding AI can be hard to grasp for those unfamiliar with the subject. To begin with, it's important to define AI as the science of programming computers to make human-like decisions, essentially simulating human intelligence. While we encounter AI regularly in our daily lives through smartphones and social media, it has also had a significant impact on manufacturing operations.
Classifying the Cognition Spectrum: AI Types
There are three general categories of AI, each based on the level of capability:
1. Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) is currently the only type in existence and focuses on simulating human behavior to complete specific tasks.
2. Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) would be able to think like humans, but it is still a theoretical concept as machines lack consciousness.
3. Artificial Superintelligence (ASI) would be able to develop beliefs and an understanding of human nature, posing ethical issues for some.
As each of the three types of AI is defined above, Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) is the sole type that is used in commercial life. ANI can perform a specific task effectively without human intervention. Examples of ANI include language translation and image recognition. Tools like Siri, Google Translate, and ChatGPT can communicate with us and understand human language, but they cannot think for themselves. They lack abilities like self-awareness, consciousness, and genuine intelligence.
Even though the potential benefits and risks of AI are frequently debated, its uses are rapidly expanding and there is still much to be accomplished.
Back to the Beginning
AI has been a topic of interest for researchers and developers since the mid-20th century. The history of AI is marked by significant breakthroughs in the field of computer science. Let’s explore the journey of AI with the highlights from its history.
The 1950s, The Birth
The idea of AI was first introduced by Alan Turing in 1950 through his Turing test, which aimed to determine if machines could think. Later in the decade, John McCarthy coined the term "Artificial Intelligence" at Dartmouth College, along with other founders such as Marvin Minsky, Allen Newell, and Herbert A. Simon.
Late 1960s, AI Winter
While there were significant advancements in chess-playing computers, AI experienced a decline in the late 1960s, referred to as the "AI Winter," due to funding and general interest diminishing.
Late 1978s, SCARA
Manufacturing began to incorporate aspects of AI into the industry despite the little growth that happened during this period. SCARA, an assembly line robotic arm, was developed in 1978 and was utilized in manufacturing. Yet, there was little significant progress in AI until the late 1990s.
Late 1990s, The Champion
By the late 1990s, AI began to experience a resurgence with a computer beating the chess world champion, which marked the end of the AI Winter.
Since then, AI has continued to make advancements, and the manufacturing industry has found ways to optimize operations with its help. AI provides benefits such as greater efficiency, lower costs, improved quality, and reduced downtime for manufacturers. Machine learning, an umbrella term for AI, enables data collection, interpretation, and decision-making to be done with ease, allowing for optimized operations and increased efficiency and productivity.
In the 2000s, The Popularity of AI
Products, movies, innovations, and more:
· KISMET, which was a robot with a human-shaped face, was developed by Professor Cynthia Breazeal in 2000.
· The sci-fi film A.I. Artificial Intelligence, directed by Steven Spielberg, is released in 2001.
· Google secretly developed a driverless car in 2009. By 2014, it passed Nevada’s self-driving test.
2010 to Present, Unprecedented Success of AI
AI has become embedded in our day-to-day existence. Companies have started to increase their investment in AI-based technologies.
Revolutionizing Manufacturing with AI
In today's cutting-edge industries, the rise of AI has transformed manufacturing into a force to be reckoned with. Its unmatched ability to streamline processes, optimize efficiency, and increase productivity has enabled manufacturing companies to reach unprecedented heights of success.
Manufacturers stand to benefit greatly from AI, which can lead to:
· Increase in efficiency.
· Reduction in costs.
· Quality improvement.
· Decrease in downtime.
Machine learning, a subset of AI, enables data collection, interpretation, and decision-making, which can help predict machine failures or manual errors and improve operations. By leveraging AI, manufacturers can not only increase productivity but also reduce costs, improve supply chain management, and minimize risks.
AI has become embedded in our daily lives, with companies investing more in AI-based technologies. For manufacturers, AI has proven to be a game-changer, providing value that leads to increased efficiency and steady improvement in the industry. The benefits of AI are numerous, from predicting machine failures or manual errors to reducing costs and improving supply chain management. As AI continues to evolve, it is expected to transform the manufacturing industry, leading to unprecedented success.
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