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Deloitte chairman: AI to have major impact on manufacturing

By Wang Junwei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-08-28 16:33
Philip Tsai, chairman of Deloitte China, at an interview during the 2019 Smart China Expo in Chongqing, Aug 26, 2019. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Artificial intelligence will significantly affect manufacturing, and most companies have already begun or plan to deploy artificial intelligence, said Philip Tsai, chairman of Deloitte China, at a forum of the 2019 Smart China Expo on Monday.

According to a Deloitte survey of companies, 41 percent of respondents believed that artificial intelligence would have a considerable impact on enterprises, and 12 percent believed it would even lead to a thorough transformation. Fifty-two percent of surveyed companies had begun to deploy artificial intelligence, and 35 percent planned for arrangements.

Integration between the real economy and digital technology will play the leading role of value creation in the next stage, Tsai said.

China is predicted to spend 2.8 trillion yuan ($391 billion) in the digital transformation this year, and the figure is expected to surge to 3.2 trillion yuan in 2020 and 3.7 trillion yuan in 2021. Manufacturing (220.5 billion yuan), governments (193.4 billion yuan) and financial services (145.5 billion yuan) are the top three sectors in spending for the digital transformation in 2019, according to Deloitte.

Tsai also shared scenarios of the real economy combined with digital technology, like accurate forecasts of customer demand, customized production and delivery, AI-based pre-sales and after-sales service, equipment and product financial services supported by the internet of things, as well as a charging model that better meets customer needs.

"Technologies represented by AI and big data have a great influence, not only on the manufacturing industry, but in many aspects like retail that are closely related to ordinary people's lives," said Tsai in an interview with China Daily website.

"Over the past 20 to 30 years, the business environment has changed a lot. In the past, there were a lot of intermediaries between manufacturers and customers, and goods had to go through these agents to reach customers. Now, consumers can directly enter into business deals with manufacturers through platforms such as e-commerce websites," said Tsai.

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