We had a fantastic turnout of attendance, with 292 tuning into the livestream and 62 present at the location. With moderator Petri Malmelin guiding the show, the event was a successful discussion of topics surrounding artificial intelligence in the pharmaceutical industry, manufacturing industry, and overall adaptation of AI in different industries, highlighting the ways in which AI is being integrated more and more into the ways we operate.
Kevin Hillmann: Navigating the Pharmaceutical Industry’s AI Transformation
Kevin Hillmann, Head of Digitization at Körber Pharma, was the first speaker on the roll. He spoke about what digitization in the pharmaceutical industry means, and highlighted the importance of future-proofing progress by interpreting market dynamics in order to anticipate the pharmaceutical industry’s future. He highlighted various trends including biotech/biopharma, personalized medicine, the importance of genetics, commoditization, new business models, new players, and outsourcing. He also underlined the role of digitization in reshaping the value chain, focusing on reducing time-to-market, easing cost pressures, and fostering small, flexible production processes alongside an integrated end-to-end supply chain. He stated that:
“As a company the focus should be on being transparent in the production, flexible in the needs, scalable in the ambitions, and efficient in the production, as everyone has specific needs.”
He then guided the audience through different maturity levels on the digital transformation roadmap, end-to-end process thinking, including customer-specific identification of opportunities, and how an AI product comes into ideation.
“When you think end-to-end, you have to think specifically about where you want to integrate AI.”
He discussed the role of identifying and selecting AI use cases as ‘building blocks for the factory of the future,’ intricately integrating these into the pharmaceutical process workflow. He emphasized how machine vision technology automates and enhances quality control, reducing errors and ensuring product safety. The ‘digital twin’ concept in production was highlighted for its role in improving decision-making and efficiency. Addressing industry challenges, Hillmann noted AI’s potential in fostering sustainability and safety. His talk culminated in advocating for an AI-driven ecosystem approach, emphasizing its importance in driving innovation and efficient data usage in the pharmaceutical industry.
Heli Helaakoski: Generative AI’s Reach in Manufacturing
Heli Helaakoski, Research Manager from VTT focused on the topic of Generative AI in manufacturing. She began by acknowledging the shift in AI’s accessibility — it’s now a tool within reach for everybody, not just experts.
When it comes to Large Language Models (LLMs) in manufacturing, she went through several of the industry applications including text generation, question answering, language translation, customer service, and software programming in routine tasks. She also spoke on the potential of GenAI in the manufacturing value chain, stating that “you want to develop new materials with exceptional properties,” and that there should be an “emphasis on empowering the people.”
She elaborated on the fact that the manufacturing industry will become more and more of a multi-technology environment, and emphasized the importance of adaptation by companies as 44% of workers’ core skills are expected to change in the next five years because of AI.
Vesa Auvinen: The ‘AI First’ Approach and AI in Industry
Vesa Auvinen, AI & Metaverse Strategist from Dazzle Oy, was next to speak on the topic of “AI Cases in Industry.”
There was an emphasis on the fact that many companies are striving to become ‘AI first’ and that all tech giants are becoming increasingly focused on AI offerings. He also spoke about the impacts of AI in the external customer facing vs. internal environment, and stated that “in each opportunity zone, the human-machine relationship changes.”
He then went on to talk about AI & Robotics, an industry that is excelling at a very fast pace and that many nations are prioritizing in terms of technological advancement. He drew attention to virtual factories, such as ‘digital twin factories’, which are reducing the time needed to bring a factory to reality (setup time) by 20-30% and improving the quality of production by 20%.
In his final remarks, Auvinen expressed, “hopefully we use these superpowers to see and build better futures.” This statement encapsulated his vision of AI as a transformative power, not only in business efficiency but for innovative and positive changes in the world.
Panel Discussion: Key Takeaways
The event finished with a panel discussion, which welcomed several interesting questions from the audience. Some of the key takeaways from the discussion were from Kevin Hillmann, when answering a question on ‘how to integrate AI into business’, when he stated: “everyone should be a cultural entrepreneur to empower others to use these tools in daily business,” and Heli Helaakoski who further confirmed this by stating that we need to “find the early adopters from the company and go from there.”
There was also discussion on the fact that there is hope that there will be more investments and focus from the private and public sectors into the future of AI in business.
All in all, we enjoyed the talks and open discussions at hAI Monday Helsinki’s “AI in Industry” event, and we look forward to seeing you at the next one!
To view the recording, click here.