David Singletary, Negosentro | The sea bed lies deep with the amount of data we collect and the minimal amount we manage to process and analyze. Currently, the printing tool analytics neither are ill-equipped to handle such huge quantities of data processing and analysis nor are they sophisticated enough to have machine learning functions built in. To progress in AI your infrastructure has to be robust enough to tackle the combination of machine learning with algorithms which can provide executable insights at the right time.
At the same time you have to keep in mind that depending on how we respond to AI in print industry (particularly online custom print shops) it can either be a curse or boon for us in a manner not unlike the insurance companies. AI will bridge the gap that’s dividing the paper and digital world by automating the process of document capturing.
The ball is now in print industry leaders’ court. Innovating their products and services from scratch to fully exploit the potential that AI offers is in their hands. Almost every web to print ecommerce firm is already ahead with accepting those changes. The boundaries distinguishing between our physical and digital worlds will continue to blur, quiet soon the only products manufactures will be what the customer personally wants delivered to you in self driving vehicles. But in the current scenario the benefits offered to the print industry or more precisely the web to print industry are
- Predictive maintenance. Efficiency can be achieved by the combination of AI and big data. This is because it allows predictive maintenance. Companies have resorted to Managed Print Services (MPS) in the past to achieve predictive maintenance. So it is not a new concept. Most of the latest generations of devices are built with data storage and basic machine learning features. However the volume of data generated is far larger than their capacity to be analyzed and processed. We have barely scratched the surface in that regard. To incorporate the full features of machine learning and data analysis next step needed is to evolve the technology which can be done by the fusion of advanced algorithms with machine learning. You can execute actions based on real time insights generated then. In a concise expression print manufacturers have to integrate AI into their devices and then use it to derive actionable insights with optimal techniques designed specifically for data collection and analysis
- Protection Against Security Threats. If AI can be a gift which can almost be a substituent for human mind in various tasks it can also work the opposite way. It can also be surmised that next malware to hit our systems can be AI controlled, i.e. they will behave in a manner similar if malwares had human mind. It will be precisely attack target and actively learn and learn to defend itself against the toughest firewalls that we manage to erect. Countering a scenario like that our networked printer and MFPs () which are IoT linked must have their own AI component that will enable them to self heal from and an attack and self monitor from potential future ones. Manufacturers will be far more enabled with AI helping them to build network level analytics for behavioral anomaly detections in real time. If this can be applied efficiently any security breach can me remediated swiftly because of the advanced analytics engine that originates from machine learning.
- Paper to Digital Automation. Digitization has progressed well beyond being merely an alternative to paper in numerous, particularly web to print solution providing businesses. Automation of business process termed as Robotic Process Automation (RPA). A preliminary form of AI wherein an algorithm is so created to replicate the functions that humans perform to increase automation and cut down on manual workforce. When you bring in AI and fuse it with the RPA protocols it becomes multiple times more powerful. We can understand this with the example of firms in finance industry. Although the form of technology used by them isn’t true AI but the advanced algorithm that automate procedures like understanding complex data like unstructured document both handwritten and typed using deep learning and then turn them into comprehendible digital copies of themselves. Repetitive operations like processing of claims can be done with the least effort using this technology. Automation of print based processes can serve to be both a gift to the print industry or a death knell. If AI can be appropriately absorbed into document capture platforms it can serve as the link between the digital and paper world.
One of the current practically applied examples of AI in print industry is the Konica Minolta. They have significant success in automating the human handled processes in a print shop with AI technology.
New developments and innovations in automated technology with AI have started to foster in print shop owners, web to print storefront owners and the likes an overall better commercial sense. AI will cut down on the amount of downtime and service calls and boost the uptime. Features such as online data collection from cloud servers will absolutely eliminate the need for service calls to be attended onsite. Recognizing these benefits from the beginning can help every print franchise owner, print retailers or web to print storefront development firms to have incremental growth in businesses year after year.