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5 for Friday: The Key Word in AI; the Seven Stages of Cybersecurity; IDEA Awards Deadline June 30

June 23, 2023
Machine Design takes a look at the past week, and a look ahead to the issues facing the design and manufacturing sector.

1. Emphasizing the Key Part of AI

The stampede to embrace artificial intelligence (AI) technology is generating concern among engineers (and writers) about how much intelligence we really are talking about. As a new Machine Design article notes, there is a lot of hype—and a fair amount of substance—around AI as a tool for the present and future of engineering.

As article author Cabe Atwell notes, “Those with a STEM background will still be in high demand, and many jobs will require human/computer collaboration. Software engineers will be needed to create and test AI systems, and advanced AI will allow engineers to become more efficient and solve a wide range of issues. That said, only time will tell if AI will replace the engineering job pools or be used as an invaluable tool to assist in project creation.”

Perhaps the place to begin the discussion is not over the use of the word “intelligence” but of the word “artificial.” At what point does AI pass beyond the idea of an intuitive tool? Stanley Kubrick had a thought on that

2. The Seven Stages of Cybersecurity

Machine Design’s partnership with MxD on discussing the seven cybersecurity threats faced by manufacturers concludes with a look at malware in all its malevolence. Given the recent cyberattacks on the U.S. government, it’s important manufacturers understand that in a world where cybercriminals and digital transformation both get more powerful and sophisticated by the day, we have to build cybersecurity into our daily business in the same way we focus on occupational health and safety.

In the end, the two should be indistinguishable—we will rely on cybersecurity to protect the digital assets we use to affect operational safety.

3. IDEA Awards Deadline Is June 30

The last thing you need to do before we finish the first half of 2023 is get your product nominations in for the 2023 IDEA Awards, presented by Machine Design, Power & Motion, Electronic Design, Microwaves & RF and Vision Systems Design. The 13 categories range from electronic components to robotics and from additive manufacturing to motors and drives.

There’s room for all nominations, which will then be presented to our readers for their votes. The deadline is June 30 at 5 p.m. EST, so if you’ve been waiting for just the right moment to share that product innovation, the waiting now is over.

4. Engineering a Successful Partnership

The relationship between production teams and contract manufacturers and can be fraught with challenges—or it can be a mutually beneficial partnership that enhances both parties and improves the finished product.

A webinar on June 28 presented by Machine Design and maxon will explore this relationship and point to the ways engineering can be enhanced by this joint effort. It also will look at the advantages and disadvantages of using a contract manufacturer and the factors and requirements that will drive a successful outcome. 

I’ll be moderating this webinar on June 28 at 2 p.m. EST with Carsten Horn of maxon. It will be a lively discussion, and a valuable time to grab lunch and gain some great information.

5. I’m Picking up Bad Vibrations

The challenges of eliminating shock and vibration in any manufacturing process are extensive. For military applications, they are mission-critical.

A new case study on the Machine Design home page looks at how an in-depth system analysis not only uncovered the culprit behind such shock and vibration issues, but were then able to engineer a new solution that available in half the time it would have taken for a parts redesign. You can review that case study here.

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