Production Pulse: What Good is Generative AI to Manufacturing?

Aug. 31, 2023
Editors from Control Design, IndustryWeek and Machine Design discuss the biggest tech trend in the world and whether or not it will make a difference for the industrial world.

ChatGPT is going to change everything! Generative AI is going to make every job in America obsolete by the end of Labor Day Weekend! Even fast food workers are worried that a teenager working in a parent's basement will be able to flip 500 hamburgers an hour using generative artificial intelligence tools. 

OK, maybe the hype hasn't gotten that extreme, but as is typical when a technology is hot, many tech people are trying to ride the wave, adding the word "chat" to long-standing features or promoting their integration of large-language-model tools into their software. So, manufacturing technology editors are getting inundated with pitches about how software that lets people create iambic pentameter sonnets about poodle grooming will soon change how factories make things. 

For this session of our Production Pulse live video series, Bob Vavra from Machine Design and Mike Bacidore from Control Design joined us to discuss how generative systems really could impact factory floors. Some conclusions:

  • Manufacturers are pretty savvy to what AI can do as they've been using it for more than a decade for quality control, predictive maintenance and to manage production settings on machines
  • Generative AI systems have more potential to revolutionize design and management but fewer obvious benefits for the shop floor
  • There are some solid applications hidden amidst the hype
About the Author

Robert Schoenberger



Bio: Robert Schoenberger has been writing about manufacturing technology in one form or another since the late 1990s. He began his career in newspapers in South Texas and has worked for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi; The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky; and The Plain Dealer in Cleveland where he spent more than six years as the automotive reporter. In 2014, he launched Today's Motor Vehicles (now EV Manufacturing & Design), a magazine focusing on design and manufacturing topics within the automotive and commercial truck worlds. He joined IndustryWeek in late 2021.

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