Over the past year or two, you’ve probably read countless articles about how AI and IoT are going to revolutionize manufacturing. In order to reap the benefits of these technologies, you’ll most likely need to invest in upgrading your equipment. However, you also need to invest in another, less obvious asset: your workforce.
Fear and Loathing – Around the World
The topic of whether robots will ultimately replace humans is one that has captured significant media attention. As a result, it’s generated a great deal of fear and dislike towards AI.
That fear and dislike isn’t entirely deserved. AI isn’t going to replace human beings entirely. It will, however, automate jobs that are highly manual, and that will lead to layoffs.
However, that doesn’t mean that humans should fear AI, or that there are no employment opportunities now that AI is part of the manufacturing landscape. There is still very much room for humans in manufacturing – it’s just a matter of them possessing the right skills and knowledge to be successful.
What Knowledge and Skills Will Humans Need to Survive in a Manufacturing Industry Powered by AI?
So, how can human workers survive in a manufacturing industry that will be powered by AI as well as IoT? They will have to learn new skills.
One thing to keep in mind is that many machines still need a human to maintain them. These machines are complex, and they require a technician with specialized skills. While we’re on the topic of complex machines, manufacturing equipment will also necessitate programmers and developers who can ensure that machines are operating at peak efficiency. Moreover, these machines generate a great deal of data, and they also assimilate enormous amounts of information, too. Data scientists will be in high demand to make sense of this influx of information.
There are also jobs that will be created that we can’t even imagine yet. As such, we might not even know what other skills workers will need at this point. Think about social media managers – two decades ago, that job title didn’t exist. Today, they’re sought-after professionals.
Educating workers might start with the current workforce, but it certainly doesn’t end there. Today’s employers have a significant role to play in K-12 education by investing in curriculum development. It’s within the best interest of manufacturers as well as other employers to educate children so they can be ready for tomorrow’s jobs when they leave school.
The world isn’t going to go back to the way it was before AI and IoT existed. We must move forward, and that involves empowering our employees with the skills they need to thrive in the ever-changing technological landscape. Invest in their education today to reap benefits tomorrow.