Laura Platte, Kathrin Schönefeld, Frank Hees

Artificial intelligence in production technology – a humiliation for engineers?

Ferrum 91/2019

The idea of systems of artificial intelligence has served, since it took off in the 1950s, as a projection screen for anthropological questions; the technology sociologist Sherry Turkle described this as the fourth humiliation of mankind’s vain view of himself. Thanks to ever more powerful computers, artificial intelligence (AI) is moving from the realm of hypothesis to that of practical application. Against the background of the digitization of industrial production, which affects high-tech and high-wage locations in particular, the spread of AI is having an impact on the engineering profession. Is the engineer’s role as planner and decisionmaker being threatened by intelligent systems? This paper presents initial findings from five interviews with scientists from the German Research Foundation’s cluster of excellence “Integrative Production Technology for High-Wage Countries”.

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