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Is AI Is Looking More Like A Band Aid Now?

Is AI Is Looking More Like A Band Aid Now?

Industries across the globe are turning into Artificial Intelligence (AI) to relieve organisations from bottlenecks from manpower shortage. However, its track record of mishaps underscores the need for good ol’ fashioned human labour.

As technology continues to advance, leveraging AI not only enhances productivity and quality, it also contributes to the evolution of a more intelligent and adaptive manufacturing ecosystem. There is a plethora of benefits to reap from being smart about tapping, thanks to algorithms.

Japan, known for its obsession with perfection has also adopted AI for its food industry. Osaka Ohsho’s parent firm, Eat&Holdings, simply did not have enough manpower to check every single dumpling, or keep up with demand. It subsequently turned to technology for an answer.

In January 2023, it opened a high-tech factory equipped with AI-powered cameras trained to detect any faulty gyoza on the production lines. Today this facility makes two dumplings every second. That’s twice the speed of the other Osaka Ohsho production sites. 

“By implementing AI, we have reduced the manpower on the manufacturing line by almost 30%,” says spokeswoman Keiko Handa. 

The firm has also recently launched an AI-powered cooking robot called I-Robo at one of its Tokyo restaurants. As it takes time to train chefs, the company says the technology will help with the labour shortage issue. While many hope AI can pick up the slack, a robot is still a robot and will have glitches.

Balancing the Gears: Navigating AI Integration 

Integrating AI in metalworking is only a good idea if the concoction of human interference is right instead of programming steps soley from historical data and leaving the robot to do its thing. Though integration of AI in tapping for instance, brought about transformative changes, with AI as the common tool in today’s manufacturing world, it is imperative to be smart about it than being a lagger. Integrating AI in tapping represents a leap forward in the capabilities of metalworking machinery.

Over reliance on AI might be a recipe for disaster — there are substantial evidence to show for it. The automotive industry has been on the hot seat lately. Tesla, who swore by AI and autonomous driving has chocked up incidents to invite doubts about its quality. It is anybody’s guess if AI encouraged complacency or putting dollars above sense.

The latest being Apple, who shelved research and development effort to develop an electric and self-driving car, codenamed Project Titan. Apple never openly discussed any of its automotive research, but around 5,000 employees were reported to be working on the project as of 2018.

Boeing, who is neck-deep in crisis and eroded public’s trust is planning to adopt robotics to minimise faults during manufacturing. This came after a series of incidents which drove passengers to check on the aircraft for the flights they booked before boarding. Boeing’s colossal trust issues outweighed the corrective measures announced to address the incidents.

Seoul has self-driving buses at night and they did a splendid job spooking passengers. It was only having a driver at the wheel assured passengers it was safe to board.

BBC quoted Graham Currie, a professor of public transport at Monash University in Melbourne: “The view that autonomous cars are our future is sheer science fiction. It’s nonsense, quite frankly. On the street we have dogs, we have children, we have weather, we have other vehicles. Technology hasn’t sorted all of that out yet and it may never do.”

Driver lifting his hand and foot off controls. Image credit: BBC

According to Professor Currie, governments are especially interested in the possibilities of autonomous public transport because the majority of the cost of a bus route is the driver’s salary. Naturally, this has led to some concern among bus drivers. The trade union representing Seoul’s 18,000 bus drivers told the BBC that the city government has never contacted them about its plans for an autonomous future.

“Self-driving should not replace human labour completely,” says Yoo Jae-ho, Secretary-General of the Seoul City Bus Union. “Right now, I don’t think that’s even possible – it’s too dangerous.”

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