AI global supply chain: We have the tech, but full automation still 20 years away, expert says

Streaming HUBApril 28, 2023

Humans may remain in key roles as artificial intelligence begins to reshape many industries, but global supply chain and shipping jobs could realize full automation in the next 20 years, one expert argued.

“Right now, there is documented success in using autonomous driving, but when and for how long we talk [to fully automate]Well, it’s here now,” Dr. Larry D. Parker Jr., department chair, supply chain and logistics at the American Public University System, told Fox News Digital.

“Every industry that we’ve mentioned, trucking, air and all the other modes of cargo … right now, there’s been success recorded using autonomous driving. But when we say absolutely [automated]I would say it’s probably in the next 20 years.”

AI has already impacted the manufacturing and shipping industry with integrations even before the explosion of attention paid to new programs like ChatGPT. AI has already helped improve production times and boost safety in manufacturing plants, leading to “Industry 4.0,” according to Nasdaq.

Walmart is using AI to negotiate cost, buying terms with up to 2,000 suppliers at once

Cargo ship and crane at Port of Miami

The AS Savannah cargo ship arrives at PortMiami on April 29, 2020 in Miami, Fla. (Joe Rydle / Getty Images)

It appears that many companies prefer to try to develop the right machine for the job rather than the right person. With fewer people and more machines, companies can continue to reap benefits as they cut payroll and benefits and other costs associated with human workers.

According to data analyzed by Nasdaq, wages and profits grew at about the same rate between 1964 and 2000, but after that, profits outpaced wages at nearly twice the rate.

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No industry has adapted to these technological advances more readily than those related to the global supply chain. Parker owns a trucking company and described how eight years ago, when he first took over, he found the company integrating AI.

“They were starting some planning and testing out west in Arizona,” Parker said. “They were already starting to test these things, so I find it interesting. It’s just gained a lot of notoriety.”

automated factory

Workers and robotic arms work on an automated assembly line of auto parts at a factory in Changxing county, China, February 14, 2023. (VCG / VCG via Getty Images)

“There is actually a company that is rolling out fully automated vehicles here in the States and in Canada now,” he added, without specifying the company.

According to Parker, one of the most important elements of the current trend is that while people have focused on large language models, attention has been focused only on computer vision, which enables computers and systems to take information from visual data. focuses on what—pictures, videos, and other media—and then acting on it.

Workers assemble electric vehicles at a factory in Yuncheng, China’s Shanxi province, on March 28. (VCG / VCG via Getty Images)

Computer vision is the most important technology needed to achieve fully autonomous vehicles, and the main obstacle that will keep humans involved in the process for the time being.

“One thing that’s really slow [integration] “Computer vision as a whole is evolving in terms of technology,” Parker said. All around – snow, fog, areas of low visibility where a human has to make a decision on whether to proceed or not.

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“We have to engineer those kinds of things into our computers,” he said, adding that he believes machines could one day take full control in those situations as well.

Parker said these safety roles will remain important in helping to keep up with automated vehicles in the meantime, despite the growing trend that strong AI will lead to the total elimination of jobs in the short term.

truck accident snow south dakota

The collision between a semitruck and a state trooper occurred on March 18 due to icy conditions. (South Dakota Highway Patrol via Facebook.)

The biggest demand and obstacle may actually be the human element. Parker suggested that for trade routes and automated vehicles to reach the greatest effectiveness and efficiency, nations must share information and data for weather, geography, and other elements. Any AI functions based on the size and diversity of data from which it can learn and grow.

“To prevent AI from making only half the decisions with limited information, it would involve a lot of people who have assets. All these devices, these monitoring systems, satellites,” Parker stressed.

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“It really gets, you know, it can be exciting for someone who’s thinking that slowly we’ve built up the pieces for this thing over the years. But now you have to give up some control over that Or give up control of something.” information if we as a society really want to benefit.”

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