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Paradigm shift - An introduction to AI, the brain of Industry 4.0

Artificial intelligence is the most promising field of computer science. It includes advanced computational techniques that digitize cognitive mechanisms that were once reserved to living species, such as knowledge, memory, language, reasoning, perception, attention, decision making and problem solving.

The essential technology of the 21st century

Combining cognitive algorithms that mimic natural intelligence and its learning processes with the power of computing proved an extraordinary cocktail that is fast becoming an essential part of our society. First imagined in the 40 and 50s by pioneers such as Alan Turing, the potential of these algorithms was recently set free due to the enormous amount of data now available and the capacity to process it swiftly on the cloud.

These technologies enhance human capabilities in their daily tasks, and the myriad of machines and applications that have taken over our devices and are getting substantially smarter every year as cloud capacity and data becomes more abundant and accessible.

The metamorphosis of the industry sector

Is AI the orchestrator of Industry 4.0? With its enormous ‘brain’ capacity, powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and the cloud, many are predicting that a switch towards Industry 4.0 is already in progress. In Industry 4.0, data analytics enables faster, more flexible, efficient processes to produce higher-quality goods at reduced costs.

Let’s zoom back. The manufacturing sector has been shaped by three industrial revolutions that disrupted its processes and decoupled the production capacity:


Unrivaled productivity increase

With the increasing complexity of today’s manufacturing challenges, the workforce requires new tools for assistance and to consider other ways to remain competitive. Artificial intelligence is the key piece of the puzzle that unlocks Industry 4.0, with extraordinary worldwide productivity gains of +40% through AI by 2035, according to Accenture. Pioneer companies understood this, and more than 80% of businesses with at least 1,000 employees are investing in AI, says IDC. With AI, McKinsey calculates that companies will leverage profit margins 5 to 15% higher than their competitors. Startups ready to disrupt existing businesses are now building their business models and their core operations with AI front and center.