The COVID 19 crisis has shown us, among other things, to what extent artificial intelligence (AI) is already present in our social life. In Asia, AI has alerted people to the risks of contamination, monitored whether the rules are being followed and is now contributing to the search for a vaccine against this dangerous virus.
The Swiss Quality Day provided many examples to show that AI has also found its place in our daily lives as SMEs: from agriculture to human relations management. This raises questions about the future importance of quality as a driver of Business Excellence and as a profession. How will artificial intelligence and robotics influence quality management in the future? And are we prepared for this development?
Artificial intelligence can be an important tool for quality, for example by monitoring machine performance, preventing the production of defective parts in real time or helping us to make decisions. Thanks to robotics, we can increase the efficiency of industrial processes. In addition, it can reduce the negative health impact of monotonous or physically demanding tasks. These few examples suffice to show the great possibilities offered by quality management by delegating routine quality tasks to machines and allowing the quality manager to concentrate on tasks requiring his or her human skills.
Quality as a value system in a company has a systemic knowledge of the organisation due to its cross-functionality. This knowledge is in turn indispensable for deciding where to implement such systems, which interfaces and control functions are required, ensuring that process interdependencies are taken into account. Finally, quality management has a decisive influence on the corporate culture of an organisation. By propagating an interdisciplinary culture without silos, but with new, more agile working methods and a simplified structure, the "Q-discipline" first creates the basis for the successful implementation of AI technologies.
Quality and our profession will certainly not become obsolete in the future. However, our self-image needs to evolve as much as the new systems so that we become more agile. It is also important to keep abreast of advances in artificial intelligence and robotics so that we can best support the organisations we work in.