Óscar Poblete
President
REDiA
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Paving the Way for Regulated Artificial Intelligence

By Alejandro Enríquez | Tue, 03/31/2020 - 17:33

Q: What role does REDiA want to play in the automotive industry?

A: REDiA was created as a response to the advanced development of robots, automation and artificial intelligence and the lack of regulation on these matters, not only in Mexico but worldwide. We are experiencing a technological war between the United States and China and part of this has to do with the lack of regulation. Each country fights to impose a regulation through its products by banning imports, so the one that has control of the market has the information and a way to impose regulation. This process made it necessary to create an association that generates social awareness and that talks about issues that nobody is bringing to the table. One of these issues is what happens when the level of automation exceeds a person’s working capability.

Q: How would you describe the transition to automation in the Mexican industry?

A: More Mexican families want to see their kids graduate from school. The problem is that now, these graduates do not have a job market to receive them because companies are more focused on robotics and automation. Technology is replacing many people who are studying today, such as the case of many mechanical engineering graduates.

With artificial intelligence, there will come a time when technology goes beyond what we consider efficient today. Auto companies cut at least 8,000 people every year and do not replace them with new hires. Talent, imagination and creativity are no longer attractive assets because they are being replaced by automated systems. Eventually, we will reach a point where automation will increase while employment falls at the same rate. We want to prepare society to start regulating artificial intelligence and to measure technological developments against the number of people that are displaced.

Q: Who will be the main actors developing systems for the cars of the future?

A: The automotive market is divided into different segments. In the luxury segment, the main motivator is designing, which is why cars cost up to US$10 million. These cars are based on custom designs, which means they are still developed by people with a passion for materials, curves and all the factors around the driving experience. This market segment will remain completely manual.

Ordinary cars, on the other hand, are going to look increasingly similar and brands are going to merge. This will cause more layoffs and fewer opportunities for people. Car designs will be better but more standardized. The reason is that OEMs will no longer build as much of the car because everything will be made by suppliers. These companies will have to find more profitable materials and processes to remain competitive. 

Q: How does artificial intelligence impact the automotive supply chain?

A: Artificial intelligence is affecting everyone. In the future, everything will be communicated. Today, every car can connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth. This has already taken a toll on part of the supply chain by eliminating the need for a CD player and therefore the need for someone to record the CD and to produce it.

Photo by:   MBN
Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst