Forklifts and AI in the Warehouse
There is no shortage of hype surrounding AI. In a Gartner article published in February 2019, Lex Fridman pointed out that expectations for AI in 2019 are “inflated.” While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s important to keep these expectations in perspective. It’s unlikely that humans will replace human workers completely, but AI applications will make them more efficient and effective. In fact, AI applications are already ubiquitous in our daily lives. Some examples include Facebook’s image-labeling feature, Apple’s iPhoto, and TikTok.
While the hype surrounding AI is understandable, the reality is a little more complex. It’s impossible to imagine an AI system that can do everything we want it to, but a few advances in artificial intelligence are helping us reach our goals. These technologies are already helping us with our everyday lives. For example, NLP helps computers understand human speech. Computer vision applies machine learning models to images. This technology is perfect for selfie filters and medical imaging, and Gartner has projected that up to 70% of Americans will interact with conversational AI platforms every day by 2022.
As AI grows in popularity, computer scientists must develop artificial intelligence. This software is designed to analyze data and make decisions based on basic principles, such as efficiency, justice, and effectiveness. However, one of the greatest challenges for the AI designer is balancing conflicting values. In addition, the code used to train AI should be fair and incorporate non-discriminatory information. Otherwise, AI will be unjust. This is because computer programs are designed to behave in ways that are inconsistent with human behavior.
In the warehouse, AI is a great help in preventing accidents and increasing efficiency. For instance, AI-powered driver monitoring systems can notify warehouse operators of fatigue and other potentially risky behaviors, while people detection systems can alert a colleague whose behavior is dangerous. The technology will not replace human workers, but it will help them become more efficient. With a little understanding, an AI-powered forklift will be far less frightening than many imagine.
While the AI-powered forklifts may be a dream come true for many organizations, warehouse managers and workers must be taught how to operate these machines. Furthermore, the forklifts will need human co-workers to maintain safety and optimize efficiency. Intelligent, autonomous warehouses are a necessity in many businesses. As automation advances, so will the workplace. Forklifts with AI are a great example of how it can improve productivity in the workplace.
AI applications are useful in many fields. Some of the most common ones are applied to solve specific problems for organizations and industries. For example, the GPT-3 AI neural network proved to be the world’s largest artificial neural network. It was able to match the performance of a human on several benchmarks. Other applications of AI have improved judicial decisions, created art, and proven mathematical theorems. These are just a few of the many ways that AI is changing our lives.
While forklifts may not be the first targets of AI technology, it is a fascinating area to explore. While AI-augmented forklifts could increase order processing efficiency, they also can improve warehouse safety. The warehouses aren’t always peaceful environments, and forklifts are no exception. Forklift accidents have the highest human and economic cost. It is therefore important that AI solutions are developed in the workplace to reduce the incidence of these accidents.
Forklifts with AI capabilities are already available in the market. They are designed to work with hazardous materials and in extreme environments. While a human cannot fully control an AI robot, it can still be programmed to perform tasks such as loading and unloading. Moreover, it isn’t just forklifts. In addition to forklifts, AI forklifts can also be programmed to perform tasks that are repetitive and tedious for humans.
Moreover, AI-augmented forklifts are currently being tested. In addition to improving order processing efficiency, AI-augmented forklifts can also improve the safety of workers in the warehouses. A warehouse isn’t always a calm place. In fact, most forklift accidents take place in high-traffic areas. This is where the biggest human cost of an accident occurs. Fortunately, AI solutions are a smart way to increase warehouse safety and efficiency.