Artificial intelligence is a subject that inspires equal parts excitement and anxiety.

For some, it is an efficiency producer that will free humans from performing mundane, mindless tasks — much the way other technologies have done for centuries.

For others, artificial intelligence is a Pandora’s Box not to be trifled with. They look to films like The TerminatorI, Robot and Ex Machina and see a grim future, one in which artificial intelligence attempts to replace humans entirely.

As a manufacturing company, this issue is near and dear to our hearts. We have discussed the complicated, but we think ultimately symbiotic, relationship between manufacturing and automation before — how robots are being designed to enhance human capabilities and boost their effectiveness, not to replace them.

We think the same is true of artificial intelligence — that it is more likely to assist humans than replace them, that the true value of artificial intelligence will not be in automating repetitive and mundane tasks, but in its unique ability to improve the work done by humans.

A recent study supports our prognosis.

Real AI vs. Science Fiction

A recent report published by Gartner, one of the world’s leading research and advisory companies, predicts that artificial intelligence will eliminate 1.8 million jobs by 2020. It will also create 2.3 million jobs. The pace of job creation — for highly skilled work as well as for entry-level positions — is only expected to accelerate as the technology becomes more advanced.

Humans and machines have always worked together to perform tasks more effectively. It will be the same with artificial intelligence. AI augmentation, which describes a situation where human experts and machines work more efficiently together than either could alone, is expected to recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity and add $2.9 trillion in business value by 2021.

About IRD Glass

Our most valuable asset is our employees, and that’s why we invest a great amount of time and resources into hiring the very best technicians and engineers in the industry. For over 10 years we have implemented automation into our processes in a spirit of collaboration —  alleviating errors caused by repetitive functions, subjective interpretations and ergonomic fatigue — to make our employees’ jobs easier, not to eliminate them.

And to this end, we continue to investigate, evaluate and implement additional automation technologies as they mature, always with the benefit of our employees at heart.

IRD Glass creates precision glass and ceramic components and is a sole-source provider to large and small domestic and international corporations. To learn more about our many precision glass, ceramic and optical components, please visit our homepage today!