The labor shortage in Canada’s construction and manufacturing sector requires the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence and automation to reduce workloads.
This assumption is one of the main motifs of the Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show, the country’s stage for manufacturing technologies, best practices, and industry connections, held in Toronto on Sept. 25-28.
The role of technologies
The show aimed to combat misconceptions regarding artificial intelligence and automation, given the importance these new technologies have taken on in recent years. In particular, the event explored the relationship between technologies and the workforce.
Artificial intelligence and automation are introduced not to replace jobs, but to ease workloads and streamline operations, freeing workers from burdensome or repetitive tasks.
The manufacturing sector scenario
The annual Canadian Workforce Survey, conducted last year, found that shortages in manpower and skills caused economic losses of about $13 billion. Out of the 563 manufacturers who participated in the survey, 62% reported that they had either forfeited or declined contracts because of a shortage of workforce, leading to a total of $7.2 billion in missed revenue. Besides, in terms of the adoption of these technologies, the Canadian construction industry lags behind when compared to other competing nations.
The industry, formed mainly of small and medium-sized enterprises, shows very different levels of adoption of artificial intelligence and automation tools within it. Widespread integration of these technologies into processes and operations will result in tangible results in terms of efficiency, energy and economic savings, and improvements in resource management.
A two-way communication
This innovation promotes a new relationship between artificial intelligence and workers: a relationship based on communication, where the machinery provides its expertise to solve business challenges, without replacing the contribution and value of human workers.
And it is with this in mind that employees and programmers must be trained. In a word, technologies should not replace human operators, but should support them at times when manpower is lacking so that companies can ensure their productivity without burdening their employees and economic resources.