Artificial intelligence has been growing in popularity over the last few years. It feels like no matter where you turn, there's something with AI built into it. There's a big debate over artificial intelligence, with some people being worried that we might take things too far and create machines that can think freely beyond our commands. However, it clearly has some uses, particularly in the garment manufacturing industry.
If you own a manufacturing factory, then you may be thinking about using artificial intelligence as part of your process.
So, what are the pros and cons of this?
Pro: It frees up people from mundane tasks.
Your employees will doubtless have many jobs that they hate doing. They're boring, they take a long time, and it causes your employee's attention spans to waiver. The beauty of artificial intelligence is that it implements automation into the manufacturing process.
Instead of a task taking half an hour, technology can do it in an instant. There's no need for your workers to force themselves through loads of mundane tasks as the AI can do it all for them. As a result, it gives your workers more time to focus on tasks that demand more creativity. This could potentially make them happier, raising employee satisfaction rates.
Pro: Faster decision making.
AI technology brings more speed to your garment manufacturing business. It can be utilized at different stages of the manufacturing process to make quicker decisions. Whether it is in a cutting machine that needs exact precision, over and over again, or in a folding machine that is folding all the garments that have been manufactured. Once that decision has been made on the precision of the cut, or the type of fold, it is done! The technology figures out what needs to be done, and does it. This all takes a split second, rather than having a human physically try and figure things out. As a consequence, actions are performed faster than ever before, speeding up the whole process.
Pro: Personnel risk removal.
Artificial intelligence removes the risks associated with your personnel. In essence, it gets rid of human errors. As humans, we're all guilty of making mistakes. One employee might be tired and miss something that completely ruins the manufacturing process and ends up costing you loads of money. AI doesn't make mistakes; it won't produce the same human errors. Ironically, the only time that AI doesn't work is when a human hasn't programmed it correctly!
Pro: Machine learning.
A considerable benefit of artificial intelligence is that it implements machine learning. For those that don't know, this refers to systems that can automatically learn and adapt - without being programmed. In essence, the AI will analyze all the data produced in your garment manufacturing factory, and use it to improve your performance. It learns how to do certain things more efficiently, so decisions can be made even quicker. The human alternative to this is having someone come in and provide a full-scale audit of your manufacturing process, then come up with ways to improve the weak points and boost efficiency. As you can imagine, using artificial intelligence is way more effective.
Con: Bad calls can be made worse
There are some downsides to artificial intelligence, and the main one is that it can make bad calls. This isn't a mistake as sorts, mainly because your AI is doing what it's programmed and thinks it's making the right decision. There's an example of this, but not from the manufacturing industry. A few years ago, there was a terrorist attack in Australia that led to hundreds of people trying to flee the scene as fast as possible. Their immediate reaction was to call Uber and book transport. The problem is that Uber uses artificial intelligence that recognizes when there's a spike in demand. When demand is high, prices go up - it's simple economics. But, the issue is that Uber ended up charging incredible fees for people fleeing a terrorist attack. It was seen as them taking advantage of the situation when really it was their AI making a bad call.
That's the downside of bringing artificial intelligence into the manufacturing world; it's not aware of everything. AI can't sense things that it doesn't have access to. Imagine you start printing something offensive on a t-shirt, but you don't realize it. Your AI won't flag this up, it will just go through the normal process and print as many tees as you need. With a human, they can spot the offensive thing - or, say, an error - and stop the process before you waste loads of money manufacturing something that can't be sold.
You see, there are more pros than cons, but the disadvantage is pretty significant. The reality is that artificial intelligence will become a substantial aspect of manufacturing factories in the future. Ideally, the best way to use this technology is to take advantage of the pros while ensuring you still have humans on-hand to negate the cons.
People working with machines will lead to the best results!