manufacturing, GenAI in Manufacturing

Manufacturers are ready to use GenAI like everyone else – just not at the same pace.

A little more than half of them plan to increase AI spending in 2024, a significant drop from 93% in 2023, according to Lucidworks’ second annual Generative AI Global Benchmark Study of more than 2,500 leaders in AI decision-making worldwide.

A paltry one in four companies across all industries successfully launched AI initiatives in the past 12 months.

“While many manufacturers see the potential benefits of generative AI, challenges such as response accuracy and cost are causing them to take a more cautious approach,” Lucidworks Chief Executive Mike Sinoway said in a statement discussing the study’s findings and what they mean for the retail sector.

This year, 30% of the respondents worry they’re lagging behind competitors, with only one in five successfully deploying initiatives. In 2023, more than 40% of manufacturing leaders had a positive view of AI.

Concerns over security, response accuracy, and costs have forced most businesses to tap the brakes on planned initiatives. Indeed, worries over data security tripled to 46%, and accuracy concerns have grown fivefold (to 36%) since 2023. Ironically, manufacturers have more concerns around response accuracy (44%) than job displacement (3%).

Despite a slower-than-anticipated AI rollout, 55% of manufacturers say they are deploying the technology at the same rate as their rivals. Seven in 10 are opting for commercial LLMs, such as Google’s Gemini and OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The rest are leaning toward open-source alternatives from LLaMa 3 and Mistral.

A lot of early adopters, with sky-high expectations of greater efficiencies and automated operations, have “been burned by lack of accuracy, when applying at scale,” Angie Westbrock, CEO of Standard AI, a retail AI and analytics company, said in an interview.