The Future of Manufacturing and AI
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) recently released its first-of-a-kind report on how artificial intelligence (AI) allows manufacturers to work smarter and more efficiently. The report, “Working Smarter: How Manufacturers Are Using Artificial Intelligence,” details multiple use cases for AI in manufacturing and specific case studies on how manufacturers are already implementing AI technologies. AI can strengthen the workforce, increase innovation, and improve workers’ overall quality of life.

The report does an excellent job of outlining the key components of AI in manufacturing. Below is a useful graphic that connects AI, machine learning, deep learning, and generative AI.

AI is increasingly infused throughout the shop floor to enhance R&D. Everything from clinical trials to safety protocol to strengthened supply chains can benefit from the appropriate use of AI. Clear policy recommendations emerge from the comprehensive study.

  • Companies should invest in R&D and career and technical education (CTE) institutions that train the modern manufacturing workforce in AI-supported applications and approaches.
  • We need to enact federal privacy legislation that advances individuals’ privacy and provides legal clarity that supports continued innovation and competitiveness.
  • We should employ a risk-based approach to create new AI regulations only if necessary. They should all be specific use cases and minimize compliance burdens.
  • Policymakers need to ensure that regulatory frameworks are aligned globally to help maintain U.S. leadership. The more disjoined the approach to AI around the world, the more time, energy, and investment companies will need to spend navigating misalignments.

MACNY sees rapid growth of AI tools and approaches for its members. Intelligent implementation offers strategic advantages to companies that augment workforce efforts with AI support. This allows members to leverage their talented workforces to maximize productivity and creativity.