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The rise of the robots: ai and engineering

Organisations across the world are recognising that many operations don’t need people in an office as long as the right technology is in place to keep operations running smoothly.

With the rise of remote working, the need to keep networks secure while staff use remote devices and home Wi-Fi connections has become a major priority. In addition, encouraging employees to continue to collaborate on tasks and managing performance are among the key challenges that have emerged throughout lockdown – and this is where AI (Artificial Intelligence) has stepped in.

In a piece written for The Engineer[1], Dr Richard Ahlfeld of Monolith AI explains how AI has assisted location-based industries throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said: “Historically, engineers were reluctant to adopt remote working due to a preference for keeping their data local, either for security reasons or speed, but often a bit of both. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things. For engineers that deal with product testing, international lockdowns have reduced their ability to perform in-person testing, if not stop it altogether.

“This is where AI has seen widespread uptake and greater general acceptance amongst engineering professionals. Location-based industries in particular, such as car manufacturers, aerospace and packaging manufacturers, have been harnessing the power of AI to keep their engineers safe whilst keeping their industries moving forward.”

Data from McKinsey[2] suggests that businesses that embraced AI and IoT (Internet of Things) technologies in the past decade are already seeing a seven per cent revenue growth advantage over their competition due to greater efficiency. The events of 2020 only served to speed up the decision process for many, as investment in digital became a necessity rather than just a point on an agenda for discussion.

The commitment to adopt technologies that enable specialists to remotely support onsite operations will be tremendously productive moving forward, delivering a new reality where engineering facilities can operate seamlessly – even if the lights are out and nobody is physically there. The industry will emerge from lockdown with more sophisticated systems in place, along with a greater awareness and knowledge of how AI tools can help – pushing the sector into a brighter and more connected future.



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