Artificial intelligence (AI) is in full expansion right now. This field lies at the crossroads of various disciplines and seeks to enhance both business performance and workplace quality of life. We can define AI as a science that lets machines perform an action faster and often better than people can. Over the past several years, this field has entered into a new era that has inspired many new hopes.
Since 2010, AI has experienced exponential growth due to three technological breakthroughs: the explosion of available data and computing powers, big data storage and processing capabilities, and deep learning algorithms. (1)
AI is now changing the way we work in every field, from cars to healthcare, marketing, e-commerce, technological devices and more. It is making life easier by facilitating our everyday tasks.
AI: ALREADY REALITY AT MICHELIN
Today, artificial intelligence is part of one of the Group’s four pillars, Digitization.
Michelin encourages the use of AI throughout the Group, particularly through LEARN BY DOING,(3) to create new internal and external knowledge bases (customer relations, marketing) with the prospect of new potential business models.
[AI] offers a number of opportunities at Michelin for consumer and customer services. By using a database, artificial intelligence can recognize a problem and immediately identify the right person to contact to resolve it, as well as provide the appropriate documentation. This functionality is already being tested in certain business units…Eric Chaniot, Chief Digital Officer (CDO
While AI applications are in use in all areas of the company, we are developing them in certain departments, such as R&D, Supply Chain and Product Delivery, not to mention in the general industry, with digital manufacturing and predictive maintenance.
FROM THE FACTORIES TO THE OFFICES
It is already possible to gather data with the various technologies available in the industry. For example, with the use of smart wristbands, operators’ work has become much more pleasant and practical. These wristbands detect problems and save machine operators both time and worry, helping to improve their workplace quality of life.
We also work with AI in our offices on a daily basis. For example, we created chatbots to facilitate tasks with the SKYPE application. Organizing a meeting at the CARMES site (Clermont-Ferrand, France) or a support service with the Staff Department in France are now handled through the SANCHO and EDDY chatbots.
With SANCHO, you can book conference rooms, send out invites and find the best time slot to hold a meeting. EDDY, a virtual assistant, responds to questions about professional travel, such as “How do I book a hotel?” or “How do I create an expense report?”
In addition to these “smart assistants”, customer relationship is the most important area for Michelin. The ENGAGE – Sales Force program is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform that aims to enhance both employees’ and customers’ experiences. With regard to customers, the program lets them collaborate in real time using a single tool to promote discussion. For employees, Sales Force provides real-time information (sales history, tire references, etc.) to give sales reps a single point of entry for their tire orders and deliveries.
These new technologies are now all around us. They have begun transforming the way we live, work, make decisions and do business. We are only just getting started. Other changes are still to come, and will likely be even bigger. Instead of hoping for the unreasonable or having unrealistic fears, we must remember that AI will only do what we ask it to.
1 When we feed data into software that is then able to improve its own functioning and learn things itself that people do not know, this is called deep learning.
2 “Gartner survey shows 37 percent of organizations have implemented AI in some form.” Study published by Gartner analysts in January 2019.
3 Learn-by-doing theory – increasing productivity is achieved by practice and personal perfection (IGI Global Disseminator of Knowledge)