Man and Machine in Industry 4.0

Man and Machine in Industry 4.0

          
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Man and Machine in Industry 4.0

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  • Looking Beyond 2025

    Although our study focused on the effects of Industry 4.0 through 2025, leaders in business, education, and government must have the foresight to consider developments beyond the next decade. Advancements in the use of artificial intelligence and “deep learning” by machines will be critical to monitor. Experts predict that artificial intelligence will take on more cognitive roles, such as providing supervision to human and automated workers, ensuring legal and regulatory compliance, and carrying out HR responsibilities. Greater use of artificial intelligence and advanced robotics can be expected to result in the elimination of significantly more job families for human workers. Initial trial programs in which computers serve as managers, such as by allocating work and setting schedules, are already in progress and have been surprisingly well received by the participating teams of workers. Because artificial intelligence has access to a broader and more detailed knowledge base than any human could possess, there are vast opportunities to apply this technology in industrial roles. If and when robots are able to adopt the thinking patterns of the human brain, they could fully take on the role of, for example, a machine operator—or even robot coordinator.




    Industry 4.0 creates tremendous opportunities for manufacturing industries and national economies. Although job losses will be high for some categories of work, such as assembly and production planning, job gains will be significant in other categories, particularly IT and analytics. The extent to which Industry 4.0 ultimately promotes higher employment will depend on how successfully companies use these technological advancements to develop new products, services, and business models. Enabling companies to retrain their workforce, education systems to close the IT skills gap, and governments to strengthen their support will be critical to realizing the promise of Industry 4.0. Success will require an in-depth understanding of technological developments and their effects on a wide variety of job families from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives. Obtaining this knowledge and acting on it effectively will be worth the rewards: a thriving national economy and a productive, empowered, and fully engaged workforce.