Artificial intelligence is booming on the West Coast of the USA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc.), in China (Baidu, Alibaba, etc.) and in South Korea (Samsung, Naver, etc.) And in Europe? In Germany? Dear Mechanical Engineers, I’m very concerned: don’t throw away your technological lead! We should not be guided by Google and Baidu, despite their positive public image. Instead, Europe should place emphasis on artificial intelligence in the mechanical and plant engineering sector. Our goal must be a smart lathe, and not a new smartphone. The user should be able to communicate with his machine: “Watch out, you are going too fast!” “No problem,” says the machine. “I’ve been given a new type of lubricating oil and can work faster.”
But we must act now. Companies in Silicon Valley tell me, “We can do the engineering ourselves or buy in external expertise.” As it stands now, the mechanical engineering sector is blind. Unlike Facebook and Apple, it does not maintain permanent contact with its customers, nor does it analyze customer data – because most customers do not want this. AI will lead to revolutionary successes in the medical field, but we must bear in mind that patient-related information and genetic data are much more sensitive than production data.