Plugging the skills gap is just the beginning – sharing data also holds the key to AI success

ERIKS has welcomed plans to introduce post-graduate programmes, which are being jointly funded by government and industry, to train the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI) experts. However, there are still formidable barriers to implementing AI in a way which will really benefit maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) work. David Manning-Ohren, ERIKS’ business development manager, explains why these need to be removed in order for industry to fully reap the benefits offered by AI.

“This new joint government-industry package is a positive step in addressing the skills gap at masters and PhD levels.

“However, more needs to be done to enable the seamless transfer of production data, which will significantly affect the success or failure of AI in industry. But many OEMs, component suppliers and manufacturers remain deeply reluctant to do this over security concerns. ERIKS’ own research shows that 79 per cent of respondents would only share very limited information with their OEM equipment partner, if at all.

“AI’s ability to accurately analyse connected industrial data will help businesses to make informed decisions quickly. Industry therefore needs to start breaking down the barriers that are going to prevent data sharing. Developing appropriate security solutions, from firewalls to private cloud environments, FOG computing and beyond will address these concerns, but we must also promote the benefits that greater data sharing can bring.

“By protecting industry without putting barriers in the way of delivering greater productivity and improved maintenance practices, we can lay a strong foundation for AI to flourish.”

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