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The Role of AI in Automation for Industry 5.0

November 23, 2023 - Ellie Gabel

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Industry 4.0 saw the incredible rise of AI in automation, bringing huge gains in efficiency and productivity. The next phase of industrial development, Industry 5.0, will include even more growth and change in AI technology. Businesses will continue to rely on AI, but the way they use it is changing. What role will AI in automation play in Industry 5.0? 

Industry 5.0 vs Industry 4.0

To understand the changing role of AI in automation, it’s vital to first understand the difference between Industry 5.0 and Industry 4.0. Both are modern shifts in the evolution of industrial and business processes that began with the original Industrial Revolution. 

Industry 4.0 is the current era of industrial technology. It focuses on expanding connectivity, integrating smart devices and robotics, and adapting to a remote workforce. IoT and collaborative robots are great examples of I4.0 technologies. AI is certainly part of Industry 4.0, as well, but its role is changing as the world transitions to the next generation of industrial tech. 

Industry 5.0 is less of a completely new industrial revolution and more a continuation of I4.0 with new priorities. It embraces many of the same technologies and initiatives seen in Industry 4.0, but moves the focus from processes to people. In fact, human-centricity is one of the core pillars of Industry 5.0 along with sustainability and resilience. 

What does human-centricity mean in Industry 5.0? It encompasses the mindset shift from prioritizing process efficiency to prioritizing the customer and employee experience. For instance, businesses might begin investing in more tech to improve employee safety and wellness. They might also update their business model to provide more personalized experiences for customers. 

The Role of AI in Automation for Industry 5.0

How will businesses use AI in automation in Industry 5.0? Some AI applications will be in line with previous-generation Industry 4.0 initiatives, however there are some changes ahead. With Industry 5.0, businesses will begin concentrating more on AI applications that improve safety, accessibility, sustainability, security and the customer experience. 

Hyper Personalization

Customization was a hallmark of Industry 4.0 and remains important to customers. Surveys show 73% of customers expect their unique needs to be anticipated and met by the businesses they shop with. Customization takes a wide range of forms, from custom B2B solutions to personalized sneakers from a fashion retailer. It can even be as simple as personalized coupons and email marketing. 

Moving into Industry 5.0, customization will become a top priority in the form of hyper personalization. Firstly, I5.0 puts a renewed emphasis on the customer experience. So, meeting demand for personalization is essential. Additionally, AI enables new levels of manufacturing agility and efficiency that make mass personalization financially feasible. 

For example, manufacturing processes are one of the most popular applications for AI in automation today. AI is highly effective for streamlining many stages of the manufacturing process, even detail-oriented tasks like quality control. By integrating AI into every stage of the manufacturing process, manufacturers can produce more units with fewer resources and less time. 

This heightened efficiency creates room for manufacturers to try out new strategies and increase their offerings. Specifically, it opens the door for large-scale personalization. With the help of AI, the manufacturing process can run so smoothly that the extra time and effort to customize products is still profitable. So, even large brands like Nike or Xbox can launch custom product lines at a reasonable price for the end customer. 

Additionally, AI simplifies the process of designing and offering personalized services and products to customers. For example, businesses can build an AI chatbot that answers questions about an online sneaker customization service. AI could also suggest color combos or popular customization options to help consumers design their personalized product. 

Next-Gen Employee Safety and Wellness

Integrating AI in automation can transform the employee experience for the better. Smarter automation systems are easier and safer to use. They can help employees do their jobs more easily with less time, strain and stress. In fact, AI can even make industrial jobs more accessible. By digitizing many workplace tasks, AI helps remove physical barriers for employees with limited mobility. 

There are many safety-related applications for AI in the Industry 5.0 movement. For example, businesses can use AI to automate workplace inspections and monitoring. AI can help identify safety hazards and detect workplace accidents so managers can respond immediately. 

Additionally, AI can act as a personal assistant for employees, giving them information and answering questions. This is especially helpful as increasingly advanced technology enters the workplace. AI chatbots can help streamline upskilling for employees. 

Of course, managers and other leadership personnel are still vital. However, AI is a great tool for making employee support more manageable and effective for everyone. Some employees may even feel more comfortable talking to an AI chatbot about certain topics, such as mental health. 

Human-Centric Cybersecurity

One major takeaway from Industry 4.0 is the importance of cybersecurity. Higher connectivity is great for businesses, but it can also pose serious risks and create countless entry points for hackers. Businesses need to prioritize innovative security strategies in order to continue growing and benefiting from digitalization. 

Industry 5.0 refocuses cybersecurity on people. It encourages businesses to ask questions like, “how can we make our security protocols more accessible for employees?”. Cybersecurity is most effective when it’s understandable and easy to act on. 

Employees are less likely to utilize security protocols if they are inconvenient or overly complicated. Industry 5.0 addresses this risk by emphasizing human-centric cybersecurity. This is an approach to security that considers user experience and ease of use when designing security solutions. Human-centric cybersecurity is so influential in Industry 5.0 that experts expect it to be the top security trend of 2023, according to research by Gartner. 

Optimization for Sustainability

Sustainability is one of the core pillars of Industry 5.0. This next phase of industrial development is putting environmental impact center-stage as the world works to fight climate change. Integrating AI in automation can be a game changer when it comes to industrial sustainability. AI optimizes operations so processes require less energy and resources, leading to lower emissions and less waste. 

There are many ways businesses can leverage AI in Industry 5.0 to reduce their environmental impact. Industry 4.0 also included some sustainability gains, but Industry 5.0 raises those initiatives to a top priority. 

For example, a manufacturing company could use AI to analyze a digital twin of its operations. The AI can rapidly identify which processes are consuming the most electricity, where waste is being generated and where bottlenecks are occurring. Using this data, the manufacturing company can refine and optimize its processes to resolve these issues. This reduces waste and emissions but also leads to lower expenses for the company, creating a win for both business and the environment. 

Embracing AI in the Age of Industry 5.0

Industry 4.0 saw a transformative wave of AI in automation across countless industries and applications. Over the past few years, AI tech has only gotten more advanced and capable. As the world begins moving into Industry 5.0, AI will remain a top industrial technology, but businesses will begin using it in new ways. In the next stage of industrial development, AI will be a leading tool for improving the customer and employee experience while also helping businesses improve their sustainability.

Revolutionized is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn more here.


Ellie Gabel

Ellie Gabel is a science writer specializing in astronomy and environmental science and is the Associate Editor of Revolutionized. Ellie's love of science stems from reading Richard Dawkins books and her favorite science magazines as a child, where she fell in love with the experiments included in each edition.

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