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20 SMT007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2022 Smart Factory Insights Feature Column by Michael Ford, AEGIS SOFTWARE The Progress of Machine Intelligence Adversity drives focus, realization, and inno- vation. is is especially true in manufactur- ing, which has felt the effects of recent chal- lenges. For decades, manufacturing has been overly focused on short-term business objec- tives, with little regard for risk or adaptability. is oversight has persisted into automation projects and digital transformation initiatives. Innovators today realize there is no way back, that we must embrace the intelligence we all should have learned. We're now seeing the true fragility of our business world aer a decade or two of relative calm. When nothing untoward happens for a while, risks get downplayed in favor of short- term results, and complacency takes hold. e enduring focus of automation within manu- facturing has been predominantly stuck with Industry 3.0—that is, the automation of physi- cal tasks once performed by humans. Recently, however, automation of human thought (align- ing with Industry 4.0) has become the origin of true digital transformation. Unfortunately, for many this started at a time of relative calm in the industry, focusing again on short-term profits rather than long-term resilience. But it's not too late to change. It's a Human Resource Issue e recent trilogy of challenges—COVID- 19, political instability in several regions, and a restless climate—have led to known funda- mental effects, including shortages, inflation, and human resource issues. It is taking a sig- nificant toll. Existing soware automation has revealed its true limitations in many cases.

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