For years, we in the U.S. and in other developed nations have been hearing about artificial intelligence (AI) and how AI technology was advancing. To my perception AI was an interesting, but still distant, advancement in computer “thinking” and command of facts.
Long ago, computers were “taught” or “trained” to play a mean game of chess, even “learning” in the process to get better at it. In that regard, chess programs were formidable opponents in my experience – not that beating me is much to brag about. In the past couple of years, however, we began hearing about AI machines that were achieving increasingly difficult tasks. They were able to create or mimic images of humans, to recognize images of them and, lately, to mimic their voices realistically. Even the arts, musical and graphic, are subject to artificially intelligent creation.
A couple of months ago I learned of a website called ChatGPT. The GPT stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer. ChatGPT is, according to Wikipedia, “an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot developed by OpenAI and released in November 2022. It is built on top of OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 foundational large language models (LLMs) and has been fine-tuned (an approach to transfer learning) using both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques.”
As a journalist I was very curious about this, so I visited openai.com and asked the chatbot a couple of questions, which are shown below in bold type. The chatbot’s responses were generated within seconds and are shown below in italic type. The general formatting of the chatbot’s responses was kept intact.
What is the status of repatriation of manufacturing to the U.S.?
The status of repatriation of manufacturing to the U.S. is mixed, as it depends on various factors such as industry, company size and geopolitical considerations. Here are some key points to consider.
- Some companies have already started bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. in recent years. For example, Apple has announced plans to invest $430 billion in the U.S. over five years, including building a new manufacturing facility in North Carolina.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted vulnerabilities in global supply chains and accelerated discussions about the importance of domestic manufacturing. Some policymakers have advocated for incentives to encourage companies to bring manufacturing back to the U.S.
- However, there are also challenges to bringing manufacturing back to the U.S., including higher labor costs compared to some other countries, limited availability of skilled labor in certain areas and regulatory barriers.
- In addition, companies may have established long-term supply-chain relationships with overseas suppliers and manufacturers, making it difficult to transition production back to the U.S. quickly.
- Finally, geopolitical considerations may also play a role in the decision to repatriate manufacturing. For example, tensions with China could prompt companies to diversify their supply chains and reduce reliance on Chinese manufacturers.
In summary, while some companies have begun to bring manufacturing back to the U.S., there are still significant challenges and uncertainties that may limit the pace and scale of this trend.
What is the status of the U.S. metal forging industry?
As of my knowledge cut-off in September 2021, the U.S. metal forging industry was experiencing steady growth, with demand increasing from a variety of end-use industries.
According to a report by Research and Markets, the U.S. metal forging market was expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 4.3% between 2020 and 2025. The report cited factors such as increasing demand from the automotive, aerospace and defense industries, as well as advancements in forging technology, as key drivers of this growth.
The automotive industry is a major customer for the U.S. metal forging industry, with forged components used in a variety of applications including engines, transmissions and suspension systems. The aerospace industry is also a significant customer, with forged components used in aircraft engines, landing gear and other critical applications.
In recent years, there has also been growing demand for metal forgings in the renewable energy industry, particularly for wind turbines and other components used in solar and wind power generation.
Despite the positive outlook for the industry, the metal forging sector, like many manufacturing industries, has faced challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including disruptions in the supply chain and reduced demand from some end-use industries. However, with the ongoing economic recovery and continued demand for forged components across multiple industries, the U.S. metal forging industry is expected to continue its growth trajectory in the coming years.
The italicized passages are reproduced here only to let readers know what’s out there and to make you aware that AI is something pertaining to our present, not our future. Having asked ChatGPT a couple of business questions pertinent to the forging industry, the chatbot was adept at spewing forth some facts as talking points. I will refrain from critiquing the writing style or impugning the chatbot’s analysis. Those judgments I will leave to you.
I don’t profess to know where all this AI technology is going, nor all the implications of its use. I do know that I will not use ChatGPT or any other chatbot to publish anything in this journal without full disclosure of the source.
Our readers deserve better.