With the COVID-19 pandemic having a greater impact on food and the supply chain, particularly in densely populated areas, and the precision agriculture market set to grow in the next five years, we have a big opportunity to tap into it—along with the power of AI (artificial intelligence) and the IoT (Internet of Things)—to help make a difference in sustainability and the move from grey to green to blue.
Many industries have had to evolve at a rapid pace in the past year, but I would argue one that has had to change the fastest has been the supply chain. While two words likely come to mind when we think back to 2020 and the supply chain—toilet paper—the long-term impact has more far-reaching implications for things like just-in-time manufacturing, sustainability, digital transformation, and the workforce of the future.
Walid Ali, artificial intelligence in manufacturing, Microsoft, joins Peggy again to talk more about AI (artificial intelligence) as it relates to manufacturing and sustainability. He says the workforce has been drastically challenged with what has happened with COVID-19 now that we are facing a demand for efficiency increase, a demand for better productivity, and a demand for also scaling the workforce. He also discusses how the workforce is a foundational pillar in any digital transformation and how to empower them. This discussion really talks about the disruption and innovation that is creating new opportunities that are good for businesses looking ahead.
Companies are making some pretty bold statements when it comes to circularity and the climate. I have explained what Microsoft is doing, as one example. Now, we are seeing the automakers, like BMW, making some bold moves.
We know automation and AI (artificial intelligence) has been sped up due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we are on the precipice of moving toward greater sustainability in industries such as manufacturing. Last week, I made the case the future of manufacturing is sustainable. Today, I am going to argue innovation needs to start with empowering our workforce.
It is time to talk about sustainable manufacturing—and how technology such as AI (artificial intelligence) can help enable it. We need to talk about what we are going to do to start up the processes again, how we are going to teach companies to design first, and how everything is going to have to work together for transformation.
The U.S. levees are on average 50-years-old and aren’t up to par. Enter the IoT (Internet of Things). Case in point: Mississippi State University researchers used an instrument called UAVSAR (Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar) with satellite-based SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) to detect the variations in the soil properties along the Mississippi River.
This week we saw a big announcement that gets us further on our hybrid cloud journey—one where cloud strategies will also include edge and hybrid investments and companies can extend compute and AI (artificial intelligence) to the edge of the network.
For years, we have been talking about how AV (autonomous vehicle) technology is going to change the way our transportation systems look. From buses, to trams and trains, to construction equipment, to the very cars we drive, more often vehicles are becoming equipped with self-driving technology. We know AVs can help reduce congestion and make mobility more comfortable, but we also know there are a lot of factors that need to converge to help make this a reality—and perhaps that time is now.
Another 275,000 women left the labor force in January in the United States. These are women who were working and now are no longer doing so and are no longer even looking for employment. Gone. The total number of women who have left the labor force since the start of the pandemic reached more than 2.3 million last month alone. This puts the women’s labor force participation rate at an abysmal 57%, which the National Women’s Law Center says had not been this low since 1988. We are moving backwards—literally. How truly disappointing is this for us when we think about all the progress we have made—globally, that is!
It is time to close the digital divide. A confluence of factors has led to this moment in history—yes, the pandemic, but also a number of other societal impacts and advancing technologies. We are at the precipice of a shift—one where we can come together to redefine our world.
In my last blog, I explained how in the next three years, 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are expected to more than double in importance, becoming the most critical wireless technologies for businesses. I started by narrowing in on Wi-Fi 6, but now let’s turn our attention to 5G.
Çağlayan Arkan, vice president, manufacturing industry, Microsoft, joins Peggy to talk about reskilling and upskilling in the manufacturing space. Çağlayan and Peggy take a deep dive in to the biggest misconceptions about manufacturing today and what are the biggest hurdles facing a growing workforce. In addition, they address the skills required for a modern manufacturing career and how sustainability and the circular economy come into play. Arkan also addresses what Microsoft is doing to empower the next generation of skilled workers to help the industry build its labor pool and the skills required for the digital age.
From 5G to Wi-Fi 6, connectivity is offering industries new opportunities to communicate, changing the way we receive information. The opportunities are really endless, as I like to say. Can this help us end poverty, inequality, water shortages, hunger, you name it? Let’s take a closer look at what is happening in the wide world of connectivity—the disruptors in this space—to reveal what is going to come in the next century.
It is time to move toward a better normal. How are we seeing technology trends coming together in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic? Some new research points to interesting trends.