AI & Digital platforms – a guideline for industry
This report has two primary purposes: to provide industry with an evaluation of the importance of AI development as a force for change, and to create an internal basis for PiiA’s future development efforts, within which AI can be described as the next phase of industry’s digitalisation. Both these objectives are naturally compatible with the overall ambition of the report: to reach our target group of industry leaders and to serve as a source of knowledge for ongoing activities within relevant companies.
There are countless cases within technological industrial development of ambitious plans promising much but eventually proving to be costly dead ends. With this in mind, throughout our work in assessing the development of AI we have endeavoured to take into account the magnitude and direction of different vectors of change.
On the one hand, we have attempted to understand the power of demand for AI by assessing the economic impacts at a macro level. We have focused on productivity and qualitative values at various stages of industry value systems. On the other hand, we have attempted to assess the range of available technologies by analysing initiatives taken on a global scale and through focused academic research. We have also put considerable effort into understanding the major commercial – or applied – forces that are crucial to development, both in the short and medium term.
We have also strived to place AI development in the context of current systemic developments, as characterised by the ‘platformisation’ of company IT resources. By this we mean the transfer of automation and IT support to the cloud – a trend that is creating new competitive dynamics.
Finally, we have attempted to translate this big picture into real impacts on the factory floor, and to revisit well-known concepts such as organizational development which – with the help of the raw power of AI technology – have the potential to make the previously impossible, possible.
The report has been divided into two main sections: The Market, in which we assess the development and consequences on the factory floor; and The Technology, which provides a more in-depth understanding of the structures of industrial IT and machine-learning technology. The report concludes with some practical examples from industry.
This project was a collaboration between PiiA and Blue Institute, with valuable input from Blue Institute’s network of CEOs and industry leaders on all levels. A big thank you is extended to everyone who contributed to this study.
Västerås, September 2019
Head of Program, Blue Institute
Senior Advisor, PiiA Insight
Program director, PiiA
CEO, Blue Institute