IA transforms Industry

How will artificial intelligence transform industry?

by Maxime Claisse - PhD, Operations Research & Data Science for Digital Supply Chain Management by Alexis Girin - Team Leader / Domain leader Robotics, CIMPA by Benoit Spolidor - Head of Artificial Intelligence, Sopra Steria | minutes read

Whilst there is no set definition of artificial intelligence as of yet, experts are in agreement that AI can simulate human cognitive capabilities such as perception, reasoning, action, and learning. Research into AI started in the 1950s but it is only thanks to the progress made in computing power, data quantities and new algorithms since the beginning of 2010 that new possibilities are really being explored. AI now promises to completely transform the industrial sector – one of its primary applications.

Artificial intelligence: decision-making assistance for the industrial sector

In industry, the primary role of AI is to offer assistance in decision-making. There are currently three levels of assistance: the first, by using big data or a significant quantity of intelligence, is descriptive AI which can simplify information and present it as a dashboard and KPI (Key Performance Indicator). This is a significant time-saver as analyses performed with AI are quicker, cheaper, and far more reliable. The second level is predictive AI, which provides probability-based projections, meaning that future situations can be anticipated easily and risks around the supply chain or manufacturing failures, for example, can be predicted better. The third and last level is prescriptive AI, which is no longer limited to just providing the necessary information for decision-making but also guides employees, offering recommendations on the system status (known as the ‘next best action’). In some cases, it can also be used to relieve humans of low-risk or non-strategic tasks. We are now seeing an increase in the number of warehouses, for example, that are entrusting sections of their logistics to driverless vehicles. Whatever the type of artificial intelligence used, the system will make it possible to receive a significant data stream, using IoT platforms for example (Internet of Things), in order to analyse the data for strategic, tactical or operational purposes.

Artificial intelligence and industry

Many factories are now equipped with digital doubles, allowing them to make their processes, machines or even human movements, virtual. These simulations, also known as digital twins, can test recovery scenarios for the optimal operating conditions following the predictive detection of a machine fault, or even optimise a production chain using process mining. Employees are now finding themselves receiving assistance with their daily workload through the use of new tools (MR, AR, VR, mobiles, etc.) which offer a better understanding of their environment. This can be in the way of ‘pick-to-light’ or ‘light-directed picking’ (a computer-assisted procedure for preparing orders), or visual detection of incoherent processes, for example. Thanks to artificial intelligence, these ‘augmented’ employees are no longer limited to certain roles: an operator can focus on meaningful jobs with a high added value, and can move away from jobs that are repetitive, monotonous and time consuming. Finally, the progress made in AI has completely transformed robotics as we know it. Now more autonomous, flexible and lighter, robots can move on their own to reach the location where their process is to be deployed. The processes that robots can operate no longer just rely on a deterministic algorithm, but rather can be fine-tuned using AI and learning. Today, humans and robots coexist, cohabit, and cooperate.

Democratising artificial intelligence: challenges and issues

Despite some real benefits, there are still several barriers to the democratisation of AI. Democratisation assumes that employees have received the correct training. This is a long and fastidious task but one that could be simplified in the next few years thanks to the progress made in the field of human-machine communications (through augmented reality headsets or voice-based tools, for example).

Then there are, of course, the legal, regulatory and ethical issues. The implementation of the GDPR in France (as well as the rest of the European Union), in addition to industry players wanting to secure access, naturally limits the exploitation of this data. But for foreign business competitors, this is not always the case.

Data quality and the industrialisation of data processing need to be managed even further. Whilst it is relatively easy to implement AI processes on an industrial site, restrictions due to the scale of the operation and global management make it difficult to set up these processes at group level.

There is still a lot that needs to be done to overcome these technical, human and legislative challenges which are limiting the use of artificial intelligence. But the pressure on the industry’s shoulders in terms of competitivity, flexibility and energy performance, can only be relieved through artificial intelligence itself. This is now the direction taken by current research; a shift towards smart factories where resource management will be more efficient (in terms of means, materials, energy) and where the operators themselves will be at the heart of this new industrial revolution.

More on this topic
Alive Intelligence

Conversational Assistants: go to scale

| Patrick Meyer

74% of French companies consider chatbots as a lever for digital transformation and more than a third have already deployed one. By 2020, 80% of them could use a chat assistant. A massive deployment that echoes consumer habits: 69% prefer the bot to a human exchange.

Discovery Assessment

How can you use your IT assets to achieve digital transformation?

| Andre Bakland, Simon Herd, Béatrice Rollet

According to Gartner, for every dollar invested in digitalisation in 2020, three dollars will have to be invested in the modernisation of IT assets. Therefore, opting for the right evolution strategy becomes a crucial issue. Read more.

Data et Covid-19

How Data Science can help in a pandemic situation?

| Marlon Cárdenas

With the aim of covering current and future needs of society, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence are seeking to drive the creation of technological solutions that benefit users in their daily lives. Many disciplines are uniting behind this cause, with health sciences to the fore, especially given the current context of the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.


How holographic technology is helping doctors deliver better care

| Scott Leaman

Long gone are the days when holograms were the stuff of sci-fi movies and video games. Holographic technology is taking the medical world by storm, and by the looks of it, it’s here to stay. So how exactly is this technology helping doctors, and what are the major developments that we expect in the near future?

IA transforms Industry

How will artificial intelligence transform industry?

| Maxime Claisse, Alexis Girin, Benoit Spolidor

Whilst there is no set definition of artificial intelligence as of yet, experts are in agreement that AI can simulate human cognitive capabilities such as perception, reasoning, action, and learning. AI now promises to completely transform the industrial sector – one of its primary applications.


International Paris Air Show: 5 trends to transform aeronautic

| Youssoupha Diop

The 53rd International Paris Air Show 2019 has confirmed the mounting fierce competition in the world of aeronautics. In this context, data, digital tools and artificial intelligence are now understood to be precious bargaining chips to accelerate transformation and turn these challenges into opportunities.


Anticipate cloud migration with FinOps

| Marlène Seif, Béatrice Rollet

Innovative and fast cloud services are crucial to digital transformation initiatives. Whilst there is no textbook model on how to adopt these services, it is nonetheless vital for companies to integrate them as fully optimised services in order to control their ROI.


From product to services: Flying the Aeronautics Industry into the Digital Future

| Philippe Armandon, Gaudérique Garrigue

With increasing travel demand and new competitors entering the market, aircraft manufacturers today are under considerable pressure.


How to control and optimise your cloud costs

| Didier Teixeira, Béatrice Rollet, Frédéric Janicot

Using public cloud services means rethinking your IT financial management. 


ASD S5000F: taking Aircraft MRO to new heights?

| Cyrille Greffe

In the 1990s, the combination of computer-aided design (CAD) and the concept of modular documentation gave rise to the first ASD standards (AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe).


Application replatforming: the Cloud migration booster

| Benjamin Chossat

Simple set-up, low cost and access to the horizontal elasticity of the Cloud: replatforming is often considered the best solution for porting a business application to the Cloud.


7 key strategies to transform applications with the Cloud

| Benjamin Chossat

How to modernise an application efficiently using the Cloud?

Innovating in pursuit of environmental sustainability

Innovating in pursuit of environmental sustainability

| Siva Niranjan

To attract new business, talent and investment, companies have had to demonstrate their environmental credentials more and more over the past years to wide range of stakeholders including institutional investors, regulators, clients, and employees.

Urban Air Mobility: is the future of mobility be in the air?

Urban Air Mobility: will the future of mobility be in the air?

| David Elmalem, Sébastien Lautier

While the dream of the flying car has often been reserved for science fiction, a very practical and real future is gradually emerging for urban air mobility.

Guidance is the key for adapting DevOps to big business

Guidance is the key for adapting DevOps to big business

| Gauthier Deschamps

DevOps is revolutionising agile transformation for big business. The method was initially focussed on software building but by automating production, it frees up resources so as to better resolve organisational and human malfunctions.


How Blockchain technology can improve Industry 4.0’s cybersecurity

| Alexandre Eich Gozzi

Earlier this year, the world’s largest container shipping company Maersk fell victim to a massive ransomware attack from the infamous NotPetya malware.