Siemens teams up with Microsoft on cross-industry AI adoption

Siemens is teaming up with Microsoft.

Image Credit: Siemens

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Siemens and Microsoft have teamed up to drive cross-industry adoption for artificial intelligence.

The companies made the announcement at CES 2024 during the opening keynote speech of Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens, as they announced the Siemens Industrial Copilot. That’s a generative AI-powered assistant aiming to amplify human-machine collaboration and productivity across various sectors.

The deal between these industry giants is in recognition of the shift in AI technology, starting with Siemens Industrial Copilot, designed specifically for the manufacturing sector. The copilot is a collaborative creation utilizing Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service and Siemens’ Xcelerator digital business platform, promising to revolutionize industrial processes.

Busch also showed how Sony and Siemens are engaged in immersive engineering using XR headsets to help visualize engineering designs.

“Technology is hidden but it’s everywhere,” Busch said. “The technology has a name. The industrial metaverse. The industrial metaverse will redefine reality and transform every day for everyone.”

Immersive engineering with Sony, Siemens and Red Bull.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, said in a statement, “With this next generation of AI, we have a unique opportunity to accelerate innovation across the entire industrial sector. We’re building on our longstanding collaboration with Siemens and bringing together AI advances across the Microsoft Cloud with Siemens’ industrial domain expertise to empower both frontline and knowledge workers with new, AI-powered tools, starting with Siemens Industrial Copilot.”

Siemens CEO Roland Busch at CES 2024 keynote.

Busch said in a statement, “Together with Microsoft, our shared vision is to empower customers with the

adoption of generative AI. This has the potential to revolutionize the way companies design, develop, manufacture, and operate. Making human-machine collaboration more widely available allows engineers to accelerate code development, increase innovation and tackle skilled labor shortages.”

Busch said it can take airplane manufacturers 10 years to make a new generation of an airplane. They can use simulations to speed it up, but it still takes time to get it done. With the advances of AI, the ability to simulate and be more efficient is only getting better.

Siemens Industrial Copilot’s capabilities are poised to streamline complex automation code generation, optimization, and debugging processes, reducing what once took weeks to mere minutes, the company said. This advancement draws from Siemens’ digital platform and Microsoft’s AI service, ensuring customer data control without utilization for underlying AI model training.

Sony and Siemens are enabling immersive engineering.

The copilot’s promise extends beyond code generation, offering detailed maintenance instructions for staff and instant access to simulation tools for engineers through natural language interaction, fostering a new level of productivity and efficiency in industrial operations.

The collaboration is not confined to manufacturing; both companies envision AI copilots aiding professionals in various sectors, including infrastructure, transportation, and healthcare. Early adopters like Schaeffler AG, an automotive supplier, have embraced generative AI, utilizing it to enhance engineering phases and reduce downtimes in operations.

AWS also is partnering with Siemens on this journey. Siemens believes the metaverse isn’t just a place you go to escape the real world. It believes the industrial metaverse is the place you go to make the real world better.

It is joining the alliance for OpenUSD, which is being touted by Nvidia and its allies. OpenUSD was originally created and then open sourced by Pixar. Sony also showed off its brand new head-mounted display for content creation.

Working with XR design is more engaging.

Klaus Rosenfeld, CEO of Schaeffler Group, said in a statement, “Siemens Industrial Copilot will enhance our team’s efficiency, reduce repetitive tasks, and unlock creativity—an exciting collaboration with Siemens and Microsoft.”

The Siemens Teamcenter app for Microsoft Teams will enhance virtual collaboration by connecting product design and manufacturing lifecycle functions, bridging the gap between frontline workers and engineering teams. This integration aims to make data more accessible for factory and field service workers, facilitating their contribution to design and manufacturing processes seamlessly.

Siemens will unveil more about Siemens Industrial Copilot at the SPS expo in Nuremberg, Germany, in November 2023.

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Dean Takahashi