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Ai in the factory of the future: The ghost in the machine

In February and March 2018, BCG conducted an online survey of companies in order to assess their progress in adopting AI in industrial operations, which we defined as producers’ core transformation processes, including production and related functions such as maintenance, product quality, and logistics. The survey also covered engineering and supply chain management. The survey’s participants consisted of executives and production and technology managers from 1,096 global companies representing a broad array of producing industries: automotive, consumer goods, energy, engineered products, health care, process industries, transportation and logistics, and technology. The participants were based in Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Singapore, the UK, and the US. The survey sought to evaluate survey participants’ views of the relevance of AI in operations today and in 2030, to assess the current state of AI adoption, to understand companies’ future plans, and to identify major challenges. The survey also delved into the relevance and adoption levels of specific AI use cases in operations and the benefits that participants expect to gain from them.