“The Ghost in the Machine: Artificial Intelligence in the Factory of the Future,” a study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) surveyed the manufacturing and technology executives from about 1100 industrial companies around the world about their applications of and willingness to invest in AI. The report observed that globally, only 28 percent have a clear strategy for AI in manufacturing. The report also suggested the proportion of AI pioneers is highest in the USA (25 percent), China (23 percent) and India (19 percent).
Here are the three key findings from the report:
AI as a lever to increase productivity:
The automotive and technology industries are at the forefront in applying Artificial Intelligence. One company in five has already integrated AI in their business. At the other end of the scale is the pharmaceutical, medical technology, machine construction and process industry sectors.
No artificial intelligence without human competence:
Almost 70 percent of executives surveyed admit that their company lacks the AI skills to speed up the introduction of new technologies. Daniel Kupper, Partner and Managing Director at BCG shares, “Companies can no longer advance purely on the basis of their engineering knowledge. Employees need to know the application of AI."
The gap between ambition and reality:
Most companies that took part in the study responded that they regard AI as increasingly important for the business advancement. However, their investments, planning, and implementation do not yet match their ambitions. Although 87% of study participants responded that they plan to implement AI in production within the next three years, only 28% have established a comprehensive implementation roadmap. Remaining 72% of companies lack detailed plans: 32% are testing selected use cases, 27% have only preliminary ideas, and 13% have deprioritized AI or not yet considered it.
The study demonstrates that AI is on the brink of becoming the most critical tool for enhancing operational productivity. But many companies have failed to understand that seizing the benefits of AI requires more than investing in technology.