AI in Manufacturing: Cure or Curse?

  • Thought Leadership

Jamie Brown and Ailsa Sutherland were delighted to host an Executive Roundtable discussing the benefits and risks of the application of ‘AI in Manufacturing.’ The event attracted a diverse group of participants, including guest speakers Amie Trainor and Paul Sheerin from Scottish Engineering, along with 15 senior leaders from various industries, such as food, drink, packaging, heavy engineering, textiles, and renewables, alongside advisors and investors.

The discussions emphasised the significant opportunities presented by AI technology, with McKinsey & Company projecting a net $13 trillion economic impact by 2030. This impact is expected to manifest through increased productivity, cost savings, and transformative changes across industries. However, the roundtable also delved into the potential risks associated with AI, highlighting concerns related to confidentiality, accuracy, and the inadvertent introduction of bias. Specific examples were shared, illustrating how these risks could have unintended consequences on safety, organisational dynamics, moral considerations, and societal implications.

In the words of Paul Sheerin, with the 'genie out of the bottle‘, the discussions underscored the critical need for businesses to plan strategically for both the advantages and threats posed by AI. Many organisations were noted to lack comprehensive AI policies, highlighting the urgency for the development of frameworks that address the multifaceted impact of AI.

As businesses navigate the evolving AI landscape, the roundtable discussions provided valuable insights, prompting considerations for specific strategies to manage risks and capitalise on the transformative potential of AI in manufacturing.

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