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There is no escaping the fact that technology is a core aspect of the business landscape. We have come to the point at which it is difficult to function let alone compete without digital tools. However, businesses are increasingly keen to utilize tech that gives them a competitive edge. As such, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) are a growing presence across multiple industries.
As a professional or even amateur in these fields, you know the continued development of AI and robotics holds exciting potential — but this is often dependent on industries’ willingness to keep adopting and embracing them. That said, it’s important to understand how enterprises benefit from both technologies. This helps you to better contribute to the path to progress and advocate for tech use in the businesses you interact with.
Let’s take a moment to review some of the key advantages in this regard.
The development of AI and robotics are too often treated as separate tools in businesses. Yet, among their primary benefits is the potential for a positive development feedback loop. The activities of one can influence and inform the growth of the other and vice versa. We’re currently seeing this approach being embraced in various industrial and niche areas. Even bioengineers have begun considering how automated robotic feedback loops can be used to better address the challenges of ecosystem decay.
From an enterprise perspective, this is currently most relevant to the combined processes of software development and information technology (IT) operations (more commonly known as DevOps). Many businesses currently use AI to influence the tasks performed by automated robots, but both can have a more collaborative effect.
The data analytics aspects of machine learning in AI software can monitor the actions of robots. It can correlate and assess this information to pinpoint where areas of inefficiency exist and where improvements might be made to the machinery and the process. Specific issues can be unearthed using a root cause analysis (RCA) and addressed automatically.
In turn, sensors in the robotic elements provide new data on these changes to AI systems, continuing the process of improvement. While some human supervision is advisable, this feedback loop can significantly lubricate the DevOps process for businesses.
AI and robotics are often misconstrued as tools to replace human employees. Yet, the value these technologies offer to enterprises is quite the opposite. There is increasing acceptance that they have the potential to empower human workers with more agile skillsets. Rather than a combative connection, there is holistic enhancement across the automated and human workforce.
The most direct element is where employees take on a more supervisory technician role in businesses. Many of the emerging trends in AI are geared toward improving operational efficiency. While these forms of automation can help handle the practical aspects of many tasks, it is the input of human experts that will drive innovative usage. Businesses will need to provide training to upskills workers with maintenance and even development processes. This is a positive outcome for employees who benefit from greater professional abilities, while companies gain from more knowledgeable and capable staff.
Perhaps the most interesting benefit for enterprise and the robotics industry is the relationship change. The situation will no longer be as simple as workers controlling machines. The interactions between employees, robots, and AI will be more akin to a collaboration. They work together taking advantage of one another’s individual abilities for a collective benefit. We’re already seeing a wider adoption of collaborative robots — cobots — to work alongside human workers in retail, museums, and hospitals. This looks set to continue.
One of the most important ways in which enterprises benefit from AI and robotics is improved efficiency. While there is certainly still a human element involved with development and operations, these technologies remove much of the potential for human error. Indeed, AI’s data analytics software in many industries is geared toward continually assessing and improving the efficiency of automated machinery.
This is in many ways a response to the higher expectations and increased demand from consumers and the manufacturing sector itself. Indeed, the continued adoption of automated and AI tools in manufacturing has only spurred demand for better and more efficient tools. While this push for efficiency will be to everyone’s benefit, it certainly puts a significant amount of pressure on software and robotics engineering teams.
At present, the development process tends to use linear methodologies, though many teams are starting to use more agile Scrum frameworks that break the project timeline into shorter sprints. This methodology favors greater team collaboration and often overlaps testing and development. While scrum can be a more efficient approach, this will also need to evolve as AI and robotics technology become more complex and even form part of the development team itself.
While this will be challenging, it also presents another area of benefit for the business. They gain teams that have the ability to keep evolving their methodologies to grow alongside the technology they’re using. They’re more collaborative, more creative, and more likely to spur innovation.
AI and robotics are seeing increasing adoption across most industries. It’s always worthwhile for professionals in these fields to understand where enterprises benefit. This allows them to have a more practical and relevant influence. The potential for AI and robotics developmental feedback loops can prompt leaps in addressing difficult challenges. It also has an impact on the skills of staff and their relationships to machinery. Importantly, there are multiple ways these tools help businesses to evolve toward ever-greater efficiency. In a commercial landscape that demands more from industries, the combination of robots and AI is a key to meeting a variety of needs.