The big picture involving digitization and automation gets a mainstream, impressive approach (see our previous posts about Industry 4.0) that tries to transform the technical terms into a coherent narrative. Whilst capable of explaining how the world could look like, once it benefits from all the advantages brought in by intelligent machines, this approach also stirs controversy. There is a fair amount of worries in relation with the societal and economic changes induced by an increased global automation.
This topic is often mirrored in online and offline debates and various materials. Although it serves in familiarizing one and all with technical concepts otherwise difficult to understand, it manages to partially misrepresent the reality of digitization and automation. Not that the bright future everyone is talking about is not attainable, nor that the disruptions mentioned are unlikely. But down-to-earth automation for now looks different, and to minimize risks and enhance future benefits we need to focus our attention on doing things the right way.
In other words, it’s always now that we are shaping the future. Getting too distracted with the big picture to the detriment of in-the-moment quality is in fact harming the same future in discussion.
Humans and machines, partners for decades
What we forget is that automation already makes so many things in our daily lives function, for quite some time. Traffic lights, industrial manipulation, elevators or appliances already function with the help of intelligent software. The examples may go on. True, now new concepts such as AI or ML went beyond theory and we witness quite a competition among companies to be the first ones to achieve viable products incorporating this traits, roughly defined as “machine intelligence”.
What does automation translate into nowadays? What is the competition all about?
Automation means reliable software that allows tedious tasks to be computed straight from one machine to another. This should bypass the human contribution in transmitting information.
Automation means self-diagnose and self-reporting, with an outcome of better, faster insights towards the human process coordinator.
It also means self-regulation of machine systems, where one element send out the request for a certain action or input, and gets an automated response that perfectly meets the request.
Automation for now is in the stage of aligning input and output in what information is concerned, integration and coordination between various system parts.
For all this to work and allow us to see beyond the horizon, all those involved need to give their best. Turning clever ideas into automated operations should only involve seamless integrations, top-notch software engineering, coordination, or the safest possible systems, cyber security – wise.
Putting good professionals, ethics and enthusiasm into automation
Working with the best is always the way to do it. Automation is yet another case of not affording to go cheap. Making sure you get what you need then paying the right price for a high-quality output. This is what all involved parties should go for.
Having ethics in mind is also advisable. Lately, the big players in the field started to aggregate around this topic. All the bright achievements in the field simply cannot turn evil, be it accidentally or by intent. With automation increasingly entering all our life sectors, it may soon show how our lives depend on it. Therefore, making sure people are protected, from privacy to fail safe embedded systems is a must.
Enthusiasm – because why not? Just think of how your current experience with technology looks like. You get a quality device that does its job. It feels great, you shape the way you do tasks around it, it makes life easier… True, many such devices are unnecessary complicated of late. But think of the most intuitive gadget you use, of its use, of how thrilled you are sometimes with it. In most of the cases the hassle users face has more to do with economics and the market policies. The better the competition, the more things would evolve in the right direction.
To reach a conclusion, always remember to be very serious about your automation related endeavors. Apps, software, IoT or IIoT, always choose the right software partner. Make sure all details are in place, the coding is clean, the project coherent and consistently approached.
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