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There Is No AI Without Data

woman stands under a cloud in an industrial landscape, illustration

Credit: Alberto Andrei Rosu, Shutterstock

Artificial intelligence (AI) has evolved from hype to reality over the past few years. Algorithmic advances in machine learning and deep learning, significant increases in computing power and storage, and huge amounts of data generated by digital transformation efforts make AI a game-changer across all industries.8 AI has the potential to radically improve business processes with, for instance, real-time quality prediction in manufacturing, and to enable new business models, such as connected car services and self-optimizing machines. Traditional industries, such as manufacturing, machine building, and automotive, are facing a fundamental change: from the production of physical goods to the delivery of AI-enhanced processes and services as part of Industry 4.0.25 This paper focuses on AI for industrial enterprises with a special emphasis on machine learning and data mining.

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Despite the great potential of AI and the large investments in AI technologies undertaken by industrial enterprises, AI has not yet delivered on the promises in industry practice. The core business of industrial enterprises is not yet AI-enhanced. AI solutions instead constitute islands for isolated cases—such as the optimization of selected machines in the factory—with varying success. According to current industry surveys, data issues constitute the main reasons for the insufficient adoption of AI in industrial enterprises.27,35


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