Revitalizing manufacturing through AI
I am excited to announce Landing.ai, a new Artificial Intelligence company that will help other enterprises transform for the age of AI. We will initially focus on the manufacturing industry.
AI is already transforming the IT industry. In my work leading Google Brain and Baidu’s AI Group, I’ve been fortunate to play a role in the transformation of two great Internet companies, and see firsthand the benefits modern AI brings to these businesses and to their users. It is now time to build not just an AI-powered IT industry, but an AI-powered society. One in which our physical needs, health care, transportation, food, and lodging are more accessible through AI, and where every person is freed from repetitive mental drudgery. For the whole world to experience the benefits of AI, it must pervade many industries, not just the IT industry.
AI transformation is hard
Many companies are figuring out how to use AI, but this is not easy. The technology is still complex, and few teams understand AI well enough to implement it effectively. Outside the IT industry, almost no companies have enough access to AI talent.
Further, just as using IT to transform a traditional company requires more than building a website, using AI to transform a company requires much more than training a few machine learning models. The strategy of integrating AI — everything from data acquisition, to organizational structure design, to figuring out how to prioritize AI projects — is as complex as the technology, and good AI strategists are even rarer than good AI technologists.
Landing.ai will help enterprises address these challenges. We are developing a wide range of AI transformation programs, from the introduction of new technologies, to reshaping organizational structure, to employee training, and more.
The Manufacturing Industry
The IT industry has primarily shaped our digital environment. Manufacturing touches nearly every part of our society by shaping our physical environment. It is through manufacturing that human creativity goes beyond pixels on a display to become physical objects. By bringing AI to manufacturing, we will deliver a digital transformation to the physical world.
AI technology is well suited to addressing the challenges facing manufacturing, such as variable quality and yield, inflexible production line design, inability to manage capacity, and rising production costs. AI can help address these issues, and improve quality control (see our video demo), shorten design cycles, remove supply-chain bottlenecks, reduce materials and energy waste, and improve production yields.
We are also excited to announce today a strategic partnership with Foxconn. We have been collaborating with Foxconn since July, and are developing AI technologies, talent and systems that build on the core competencies of the two companies. As one of the world’s leading technology service providers and a multinational company running manufacturing in several continents, Foxconn provides Landing.ai a platform to jointly develop and deploy AI solutions and training globally.
Jobs and training/retraining
Bringing AI to manufacturing will also revitalize manufacturing jobs in the US and globally. There has been much discussion about how people will work in an AI-powered future. The next wave of manufacturing jobs will be very different than the previous one. They be higher-level and higher paying, but also require new skills. Thus, they will require large scale training or retraining.
The retraining of workers for the next generation of jobs in AI is a challenge that my team is uniquely equipped to tackle. We are dedicating time and resources to creating retraining solutions for current or displaced workers. We are discussing the deployment of skills training programs with a variety of partners, including local governments. We hope we will have more to say on this soon, and are excited to take on this challenge.
In developing economies, the AI transformation of manufacturing will accelerate the affordability of products ranging from antibiotics to bicycles to computers. It will also help small-scale producers sell products to and benefit from global supply chains. In developed economies, deeply integrating AI into manufacturing will also pave the way to power a new generation of products, devices and experiences.
We look forward to sharing more about Landing.ai in the near future!