Thought Leadership

Artificial intelligence development is changing how industry works

By Steve Hartman

Many industries are going to benefit from artificial intelligence development. It’s hard to say which ones in the long term will find the highest level of success, but we can already see significant benefits in a host of industries.

At its core, artificial intelligence is a tool that can acquire, organize and analyze vast amounts of data to create and parameterize models to recognize patterns and make predictions. AI is delivering many benefits and its continued use is the key to making a business more competitive. By automating some of the repetitive, basic tasks, a company can increase productivity, reduce mistakes and enable quicker, better decisions. In insurance, for example, companies are using AI to automate claims processing. The entertainment industry uses AI to optimize streaming services and suggest content based on an individual’s previous choices and comparing it to the choices of others.

Leveraging AI Today

If you’re a business or a company wondering about what to do about AI, whether to use it or even when to use it, then the answer is, Yes. Businesses must think about using AI. Artificial intelligence is a practical tool, and just like banks use it to prevent fraud or healthcare uses its algorithms to scan X rays, companies should look to solve problems and challenges with AI.

In engineering and manufacturing, artificial intelligence is already enhancing the scheduling in a factory by improving downtime and conducting predictive maintenance scheduling. Artificial intelligence saves companies money by reducing costs, for example by collecting data from running machines in the factory and feed it into training for predictive maintenance AI models.

Manufacturers can use these models to detect signs that maintenance is needed, such as changes in vibration signals which might indicate there is a developing problem. They can then schedule a maintenance session at the downtime of their choosing, perhaps overnight on a Saturday where there could be minimal or no loss of production. Naturally, it’s more economical to perform maintenance at the company’s discretion than having an expensive machine offline for several days, while possibly waiting for delivery of replacement parts from somewhere on the other side of the world.

Companies like Electricity Generators that use wind turbines are using AI-trained models to do maintenance and optimize their operations. Without this knowledge, they would continue guessing about how to evolve their operations to greater efficiency. They would also maintain the turbines based on a schedule and not whether the turbine required it, or ad hoc when issues arose. With the help of the data from sensors mounted on those turbines, they can better predict maintenance needs and how to minimize downtime. This makes a significant financial impact and can be the difference between being competitive and not being competitive.

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, and simulation are other areas in manufacturing where AI will play a more significant role. Manufacturers will need to simulate and validate to check that an additive manufacturing process will produce a quality part and will integrate within a complex product. As this industry grows, there will be more and more manufacturing done via additive manufacturing. It will open horizons for components and systems that are just not possible to traditional manufacturing techniques. Additive manufacturing needs AI to help improve the design, its validation and the planning of the manufacturing components.

The pioneers in 3D printing are the companies producing software and the components to go into the additive manufacturing machines. This includes using artificial intelligence to improve the digital twins to help manufacturers of everything from cars and planes to the factory or smaller components to make better predictions about their performance. AI can simplify the set-up of simulations, speed up those simulations and detect problems earlier without the need to conduct detailed analyses. AI truly plays a part in all these types of analyses and can help companies use the digital twin more effectively.

Today we’re seeing the finance, advertising and consumer industries benefiting the most from AI, but that’s likely because they have access to data. With lots of information, the leaders in these industries are feeding continuous data into their analytics algorithms, improving their models, and getting deeper insights than before.

As more data becomes available, especially in data-sensitive industries where proprietary technology is subject to privacy and confidentiality, companies will struggle to divulge their data. Healthcare and manufacturing industries are particularly concerned about the confidentiality of their data as it’s part of their competitive edge. For those offering services involving AI, it is imperative to address these concerns and information regarding how it will be used and how protection will be provided.

Three industries where AI is already succeeding

There are countless examples as to the importance of AI and its abilities to help businesses maintain their competitiveness and increase both growth and profits. AI is already being used for data collection, assisting companies to become more efficient and productive.

AI in banking

AI is already being used in the financial industry to help companies reduce fraud, assess risk, improve trade and minimize the costs of making credit decisions. But AI in banking is moving a little deeper. Deutsche Bank, for example, already uses this technology to monitor customer phone calls where they can pick up potential fraudulent cases and alert the operators. It is also detecting possible fraudulent transactions before they happen. This reduces financial loss from fraud, which is often publicly embarrassing for a brand.

AI in Banking Image.jpegAI in banking is becoming more prevalent

AI in healthcare

Artificial intelligence is being used with great benefit in the healthcare industry as well. In the United Kingdom, there’s a serious shortage of radiologists. What AI in healthcare is accomplishing is the automation of analyzing the scans, helping to determine symptoms and even suggesting diagnoses. This both speeds up the diagnostic processes and allows radiologists to better use their time and make smarter decisions by automating preliminary scanning and analysis to eliminate easily detected negative results and focus their attention on the cases where decisions require their expertise.

AI in Healthcare Image.jpegAI in healthcare can scan x-rays at a pixelated level

At Stanford University’s Center for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine & Imaging, researchers continue developing artificial intelligence technology to scan mammograms and reduce false negatives and false positives. Ross Shachter, associate professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University, does not see radiologists being replaced but believes AI can assist in determining breast cancer cases more effectively and efficiently while ensuring professionals can better manage their time with patients.

Artificial intelligence developments are also being used to build the medical devices that aid in patient health. Implementing a predictive algorithm that gathers data during the development and production of a medical device requires data and performance records to determine the probability of that device working to the standards necessary for government approval and healthcare acceptance. This gives engineers more time to develop medical devices, and manufacturers greater confidence in product introduction.

Artificial intelligence in insurance

Insurance companies have access to an insurmountable level of data – a key ingredient to the successful implementation of artificial intelligence. Using this information makes processing claims, underwriting and even customer service more efficient. If a customer wants to take out a policy or make a claim, they’ll likely interact with a form of artificial intelligence like a chatbot that uses algorithms to address customer concerns. Insurance companies can free up their employees to work on the more complex cases requiring a higher level of human judgment, whereas AI deals with straightforward cases.

With the adoption of machine learning and artificial intelligence, along with the data from the Internet of Things environments, manufacturers and engineers across a variety of industries can increase productivity and reduce operational risk. Predictive and prescriptive maintenance and optimized asset performance management are just some of the ways every industry from healthcare and entertainment, to banking and manufacturing, are utilizing this innovative solution.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at