How Would Artificial Intelligence Redefine NZ Manufacturing?

Human and Robot Shaking HandsModern technology continues to disrupt New Zealand’s construction and manufacturing sectors, but artificial intelligence would likely have the most impact in these industries by 2020, according to a Gartner report.

Whether it’s robotic shot peening or automated packaging systems, AI technologies could prove to be the most disruptive technology in the next two years.

AI Interaction

Gartner research vice president John-David Lovelock said that “computational power, volume, velocity, and variety of data” would allow the increased disruption of AI systems in the manufacturing field. The so-called deep neural networks would be another factor for changing the business landscape. As a result, companies are now reconsidering their future plans on how to interact with AI technology.

By 2020, Lovelock expects 40% of employees in manufacturing and other sectors to work directly with AI systems. The customer-service industry has been one of the pioneers for using AI with the likes of Siri and Alexa. The capabilities of these systems would further expand due to the development of better speech-to-text systems and translation.

More Workers Needed

Gartner’s report predicted that AI will pave the way for 2.3 million jobs and reduce the need for 1.8 million jobs. In the construction industry, however, more human workers would be necessary to perform work beyond the capability of AI technology.

At least 50,000 new workers are needed in New Zealand over the next four years to meet a growing demand for building projects, including home construction, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The housing boom in Auckland, recovery efforts from the Kaikōura earthquake and similar projects in Wellington are some of the factors driving the increased demand.

There’s no doubt that AI would play a bigger role in the construction and manufacturing industries, but some types of work would still require manual labour by humans. What is your outlook on technology development in the near future?