October 30, 2018
Terms like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning are being used a lot in the manufacturing business these days, but how much do you really know about these concepts and the technologies behind them? Is it all the same thing, and can these terms be used interchangeably? In this post we will take a closer look at these terms and technologies and what they really mean for manufacturers in terms of digital transformation, automation, autonomy, and the Factory of the Future.
Backstory: The History of AI in Manufacturing
To fully understand how AI helps manufacturing, we must take a brief trip back in time to where it all began.
Following the emergence of the Internet, engineers began realizing that it would be more efficient to code computers to think like humans and give them access to all the information on the Internet than to teach them everything. This advancement toward autonomy comes from the development of neural networks, systems of probability designed to organize information based on its components, much like the human brain. Learning from past data, the machine is able to make statements, decisions, and even predictions, as well as alter its approach based on feedback.
That was the birth of AI in manufacturing. Now let’s get back to the future and examine the role of AI in manufacturing today.
What Is Artificial Intelligence? Is AI the Same Thing As Machine Learning?
According to Forbes, artificial intelligence is “the broader concept of machines being able to carry out tasks in a way that we would consider ‘smart’’, while machine learning is “a current application of AI based around the idea that we should really just be able to give machines access to data and let them learn for themselves.”
Put simply, Artificial Intelligence is any program that can mimic human behavior and sense, reason, react, and adapt to data. Machine Learning is the application of AI in machines, which gain the ability to improve their performance over time using statistical methods as they gain access to more and more data. And, finally, Deep Learning is a subset of Machine Learning which exposes multilayered neural networks to vast amounts of data, allowing it to train itself to perform tasks like voice and image recognition.
These emerging technologies can certainly improve the speed of producing goods and resources, while also reducing the cost, but that’s not all. Let’s see what else they can do.
The Factory of the Future: Deep Learning Leads to Smart Manufacturing
Meet Infor’s Coleman. Coleman is an enterprise-grade AI platform that applies machine learning technology to help you optimize your business. Now included in Infor’s CloudSuite manufacturing solutions, Coleman is there to assist you in executing tasks, making sound business decisions, and predicting maintenance risks. Coleman uses natural language processing and image recognition to boost efficiency. This system engages in intuitive, verbal conversations, enabling AI to become the user interface and allowing employees to delegate data queries and searches. With top-notch machine learning capabilities, Coleman is able to learn, speak, read, respond, and even predict outcomes. With Coleman, companies are able to improve efficiency while reducing human error.
Smart Manufacturing: From Automation to Autonomy
Did you know the average interaction worker spends almost 20% of their time tracking down information? Infor’s Coleman can instantly source data, automate repetitive processes, and optimize workflow, thus improving productivity.
Beyond automation, AI systems like Coleman can even offer advice to improve business operations. They can monitor maintenance and identify risk (helping to keep employees safe), analyze customer feedback and profiles (offering the possibility for better marketing), and automate price changes to maximize customer satisfaction.
AI isn’t just for automating tasks; today it has the capability to provide valuable insight. With continuing technological advances, it’s no surprise that we will see more autonomous, more life-like intelligence down the line.
Together, these technologies are driving the industry closer to the end goal of true Smart Manufacturing — the ability to solve existing and future problems via an open infrastructure that allows solutions to be implemented at the speed of business while creating advantaged value.
Want to get started with Infor solutions? Let us be your guide. We are an Infor Gold Channel Partner with over 20 years of experience helping manufacturers find, implement, and optimize solutions to grow and improve their business.