Collaborating Authors

Artificial Intelligence from the Boardroom to the Factory Floor


This revolution is enabling manufacturers in the USA to rapidly design, engineer, and make products to order in response to products ordered over the Internet. In fact, recent research into AI from Accenture Research shows that the technology will be critical to economic growth in existing and developing markets. Accenture's CTO Paul Daugherty states, "Artificial Intelligence is poised to transform business in ways we've not seen since the impact of computer technology in the late 20th century.

Meet the Cobots: Humans and Robots Together on the Factory Floor

National Geographic

Humans might take heart from the recent decision by Mercedes-Benz to replace robots with humans on some lines. The machines were just not agile enough to keep pace with the growing demand for customized products while we humans can "reprogram" ourselves in a fraction of a second. "We're moving away from trying to maximize automation, with people taking a bigger part in industrial processes again," says Markus Schaefer, head of production planning at the automaker. "When we have people and machines cooperate, such as a person guiding a part-automatic robot, we're much more flexible and can produce many more products on one production line. The variety is too much to take on for the machines."

Factory Floors -- Don't Fear The Robots

Huffington Post - Tech news and opinion

The German-based company announced its plans to open a sneaker "Speedyfactory" in Atlanta to expedite the process between producing a shoe and delivering it to the customer. The operation will be helmed by robots to make shoes at a rate faster than before. The move will create approximately 160 manufacturing jobs in the area -- a big step for a company that currently produces most of its goods in Asia. This trend of moving production also extends far beyond the world of fashion. General Motors, Boeing, and Mars Candy are also bringing manufacturing stateside in an effort to compete with consumer demand, react to trends faster and lower import duties.

Home of the Day: 007 digs in the Trousdale Estates

Los Angeles Times

Designed by the award-winning team at XTEN Architecture, this sleek modern home in Beverly Hills looks like something out of a James Bond film: sexy, sophisticated and intriguing. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls retract to blur the boundaries between the open-plan interiors and the infinity-edge swimming pool just beyond. With unobstructed vistas of downtown L.A. and the Santa Monica Bay, the view is to die for. Features: Climate-controlled glass wine cellar with 1,000-bottle storage; Bianco tile floors; nine-foot hardwood doors; 12-foot automated Fleetwood glass walls; gourmet kitchen with Miele appliances, Caesar Stone countertops; adjacent "hidden" working kitchen; Pietra Gray Spanish marble slab feature wall; home theater; master suite and en-suite guest bedrooms; Portuguese porcelain tile; polished chrome Dornbracht fixtures; infinity-edge pool and spa; built-in barbecue; outdoor fireplace. Conceptualized by developer David Schwartz, the home's contemporary interior includes Bianco tile floors, custom cabinetry, and a Spanish marble accent wall.

When hard work and sexism were part of factory life

BBC News

In the 1960s, the south Wales valleys were awash with industrial clothing factories. Forming the bedrock of local employment, they were known for their gruelling hard work, camaraderie, inequality and sexism. Here, in her own words, machinist Terry Jones, 67, explains what it was like to be a factory girl between 1966 and 1975. I remember one morning in the factory, coming back from break and seeing a note propped up against my sewing machine. It read: "Will you be my girlfriend?"