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Automatic efficiency: How AI is redefining manufacturing

Artificial intelligence has officially made the leap from science fiction plot device to cultural citizen, weaving into the fabric of daily life without much of a fanfare. In the private sector, its presence helps power internet searches and smart home devices, and is even starting to branch into vehicles.

Business, however, is where AI really shines. If the goal of every manufacturer is to produce as many units as possible in a given period of time without triggering safety or quality control issues, AI is emerging as the best case scenario in nearly every application.

Beyond if/then

Machinery is nothing new on the assembly line, nor is programming. So what makes AI such a groundbreaking technology? In a word, complexity is what drives its popularity and widespread adoption.

When business decisions are made, particularly during a time crunch, even the most seasoned workers bring bias on board. They could potentially change the outcome depending on how they feel about the issue, what they’ve experienced previously, and what they believe will happen.

While AI goes through similar gates of decision-making, it factors in analytics — not human recollection — to arrive at the best possible solution. Unlike straight if/then scenario programming, AI acts the way the human brain does, minus bias-inducing emotion: It factors in past performance, mathematically or logically extrapolates likely outcomes and acts.

Moments of hesitation don’t seem long in the moment, but over the course of a day or week, they add unnecessary complication to your workflow speed. This is particularly true when the decisions are relatively low on the…