The Impact of Robotics & Artificial Intelligence on Business

Prashanth has over 27 years work experience in automotive industry and in wide areas of responsibilities including Operations, Program Management, Product planning, Business development, Commercials, Strategy and General management.

Owing to the swift advancements in technological discoveries, the future of business is changing with the growing use of intelligent machinery predicted to characterize the production processes and enhance user experiences. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics play an important role in our economy, becoming the drivers of growth and productivity.

This trend towards automation and digitization of manufacturing technologies is happening so rapidly that it is revolutionizing industrial processes and has earned the name of Industry 4.0. Besides automation, Industry 4.0 also involves the interconnection between cyber physical systems and objects through the Internet of Things(IoT): altogether this will lead to the creation of smart factories and systems, where all processes are interconnected to improve efficiency, safety and security.

Moreover, further improvements in logistics and management of the supply chain are a direct consequence of the interconnection between companies using such smart solutions. And with AI technologies making significant progress in the last few years, more and more companies are expected to adopt these technologies, helping them reap benefits deriving from it.

AI enabled applications are widely being used in the automotive manufacturing floor

Rise of AI & Future
The advancements in AI & Machine Learning (ML) have been made possible by two main factors. The first one is the increase in the amount of data storage and processing, which is mainly linked to the increased use of Internet services. This is a crucial part of developing intelligent machines and tools based on AI. Secondly, a considerable contraction in computing costs which led subsequently to an increase in computing power and storage happened in the first years of the twenty-first century.

Artificial intelligence employed today is referred to as 'narrow' or 'weak' AI, meaning that it has only one function or task (e.g. facial recognition). The goal of the future is the development of 'strong' or 'general' AI, which will be capable of performing a large number of basic tasks and will be significantly efficient.

Artificial intelligence and robotics will undoubtedly have a major impact on economics. It is estimated that AI could help double annual global economic growth by 2035. This growth will be achieved mainly through the increase in productivity and newer AI-enabled user systems. Additionally, this growth will impact different sectors, creating new revenue sources.

Impact of AI on Automotive Industry
In the automotive industry we expect that the cooperation between smarter equipment with fast analysis provided by artificial intelligence will allow us to make better vehicles in terms of safety, energy usage

performance and using fewer natural resources. This approach will be a key to benefit the society, as we can make rational decisions to efficiently use the limited natural resources and energy made available in a fastgrowing world.

There are already multiple examples that show how the introduction of AI in productive processes has had a positive impact on an industry. Take for example the automotive industry which has always pioneered in adopting modern technologies.

AI enabled applications are widely being used in the automotive manufacturing floor. From creating schedules and managing workflows, enabling robots to work alongside workers on assembly lines, AI-system are making automotive plants more efficient by helping them reduce costs and downtime, while delivering better finished products to customers. Popular are Cobots, abbreviation of a collaborative robot. They are intended to work alongside humans and collaborate with them in a specific task. They can perform an extensive amount of functions, from logistic work to inspection robots equipped with a camera.

AI systems also have become well-advanced in identifying defects on the manufacturing floor. Intelligent hardware can visually inspect and provide quality checks on manufacture and assembly processes to eliminate any possible defects on the finished products.

Automotive processes involving extremely complex supply chains that span much geography, AI-driven systems help predict interactions between production units and automate requests for parts, tools, labour and repairs. AI-systems with its predictive maintenance capabilities also ensure there are minimal glitches or breakdowns in systems which can become extremely costly for automotive manufacturing companies.

AI Enabling New-Age Driving Systems
AI-systems ability to recognize a large number of different situations and react to them appropriately has resulted in fastpaced evolution of automated driving systems. Classic development approaches eventually come up against their limitations and cannot cover every situation. This is where AI can enable the system to record unknown situations, evaluate them and then derive from them an appropriate driving strategy.

When it comes to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) of today, vehicles have to interact with a constantly changing complex environment. On one hand, there are rules and models (e.g. red traffic lights, physical laws) that can be implemented in software. On the other hand, driving a vehicle requires a lot of `experience' (how does a pedestrian look like, when and how to change a lane in a comfortable way) this experience is difficult to program in code. To `implement' Experience, AI-enabled machine learning shows significant performance improvements, making possible the new-age ADAS features.

In fact, the AI industry will eventually become bigger than the automobile industry today, because automobile will become a robot. We will talk to it, we will argue with it, we will have discussions with the car about best route to take. When you want to park the car, you simply tell your car park yourself. This is going to revolutionize urban economics when you don't have to worry about parking anymore.

It is certainly possible to say that any industry that does not adapt fast enough to the new technologies will become inefficient and obsolete with time.

There are however multiple concerns about the adoption of robotics and AI. The biggest of them revolves around security. Since robotics and AI are employed in working fields such as hospitals and say for automated driving systems, protection of these systems from external cyberattacks is pivotal.

Another one of the biggest debates about the employment of robotics in factories is the lack of human traits, such as emotions, creativity and empathy. These values are highly rated by employers in many working fields. These considerations could be easily resolved with the introduction of new policies regulating the use of new technologies. Particular attention should be given to the formation of a properly skilled workforce. Additionally, the introduction of AI and robotics can cause further inequalities between developed and developing countries. This last challenge can be overcome mainly through international cooperation to share new technological patents.