Intel published in the most recent annual edition of the Accenture Technology Vision report is suggesting that over 80% of leading aerospace and defense company executives anticipate that artificial intelligence (AI) systems will soon be working with human employees.
Accenture and a few of its industry-leading aerospace clients are presently using AI systems to carry out decision-making duties such as forecasting, allowing human labor to focus on other projects. Even consultants are surprised by the rapid rate of adoption.
Jeff Wheless, aerospace and defense (A&D) global research leader for Accenture, said that the trend marked a significant change from 2017, when AI was not being embraced as rapidly. Speaking to the media prior to the broader release of the report, he explained that four out of five executives polled said that they expected AI to be working in partnership with humans in two years.
“That’s pretty fast,” he said.
The report states that 70% of A&D leaders believe it will take no more than two years for emerging technologies to be adopted overall. Half of them state that their companies are already investing in AI and related technologies such as connectivity, autonomous machines, and robotics.
These A&D representatives said they expected the new technology to have the biggest impact on their production, development, and security and research efforts. The effect will be felt by more than back-office operations or day-to-day functions. The majority of respondents also said that they are using data to power automated and critical decision-making.
In addition, 94% of survey respondents said they believed that this upcoming wave of technology will penetrate physical environments through wider adoption of connected devices, robotics, and augmented reality.
Although Accenture representatives are not presently discussing case examples of clients employing the new technology, managing director and global A&D lead John Schmidt said that one prominent aircraft OEM was using augmented reality to connect factor managers with distant engineers. The result was decreased travel time and costs between the locations.
Nonetheless, executives remain aware of the rising challenges that the new technologies represent. To begin with, demands for sharing of data will only go up. Approximately 90% of poll respondents said their A&D companies expect to exchange more data with business partners over the next few years.
The rapid rate of adoption for AI in aerospace manufacturing appears to be a sign of the times, and companies that support the sector are raising their own bars.
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