Wednesday, August 15, 2018

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Artificial Intelligence and Engineering: Trends and Developments

While the type of complex AI we see in TV shows and movies like “Westworld“ and “Ex Machina” may be a long way off, more and more artificial intelligenceis creeping into our lives year by year, affecting everything from the way we work and communicate to how we relax, entertain ourselves, learn and more. 

If you’re thinking of getting into the engineering industry, it’s important to be aware of some of the ways in which technology is having an impact on the sector now. You should also want to get the lowdown on some likely predictions for the future. Read on for a couple of key trends and developments you need to know about.

Manufacturing

As you would imagine, artificial intelligence is already leading to changes in the manufacturing industry. AI allows engineers to develop machines that can perform increasingly complicated manufacturing and design-related tasks. Over the coming years, this growth is likely to be exponential.

Automobile manufacturing is a good example of this. Years ago, robots in car factories were used to perform simple tasks that required the use of fairly large components and movements. Today, however, the manufacturing line has grown significantly more sophisticated. Machines are now capable of precision movements and can emulate even the most intricate parts of the manufacturing process. 

Machine learning platforms, applications and algorithms are also being used in all manufacturing types to help companies fine-tune product quality, discover new business models and optimize operations all the way through to the shop floor level.

For instance, AI helps to considerably reduce supply-chain forecasting errors and lost sales because of better product availability. Shop floor operations are boosted because insights are provided into machine-level loads and production schedule performance. Each production run can be better managedsince workers can see how to optimize the best possible set of machines for each run.

Machine learning is rapidly improving predictive maintenance on equipment for better uptime and faster turnarounds, and it is enabling quality testing to be automated, which increases defect detection rates dramatically.

People who have completed a Bachelor’s or Master’s of Mechanical Engineering, online or on a campus, will have many new job opportunities in manufacturing thanks to the rise of robots. There will continue to be an increased need for engineers to design, build, test and research artificial intelligence systems for these purposes.

Medicine

There are many exciting developments happening in health care due to AI. Artificial intelligence is helping workers solve medical problems and get access to valuable information and insights that can aid effective decision making.

For example, computers are used to extract information from collected clinical data to better understand patient symptoms and vital signs and to predict future disease progression. Also, by applying AI to big health data, there is a reduction in the time needed by biomedical engineers and other healthcare professionals and researchers to find meaningful patterns and new knowledge threads in collated data. This has many applications, including in the selection of patients in clinical trials.

Artificial intelligence is also used to offer personalized medicine. Healthcare staff now have the ability to analyze large amounts of patient data at a time, which can help to identify specific treatment options for people. 

Machine learning is making its way into operating rooms too, where it’s providing computer-assisted, personalized sedation to provide anesthesia at optimal levels. Plus, more surgical robots are helping surgeons with operations. AI can be leveraged to help surgeons interpret what they see during surgeries.
There is also a boost in bioprinting, where doctors and researchers 3D-print anatomical models of organs to help them improve the outcomes of surgeries through practice operations and to better understand treatment options. Thanks to artificial intelligence, AI-powered medical imaging software has been developed which powers the automatic segmentation of tissues and organs. 

To help bioprinting reach its full potential, the technology enables researchers to reconstruct segmented body parts with high accuracy as digital 3D models. These can then be used for fabrication and other applications. Information can be converted directly from CT scans and other tests into single or multi-material printable 3D files in an automated process that doesn’t require human intervention. 

The new tech reduces the time it takes to form a medical image to a printable organ. This in turn boosts the efficiency of doctors and researchers.With the hope that one day bionic organs will be able to be printed on demand for transplants, thereby saving millions of lives, this use of AI in bioprinting is a great leap forward.

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