Will AI replace engineers?

Published on
April 3, 2024

Introduction: A look into the future of engineering

While, either as the author or reader of this article, we cannot look into a crystal ball to know how the future of engineering unfolds, we can only utilize the info that we have now to get some insights at least into the near future.

The closest situation to the current one that we’re currently facing is the industrial revolution when similar mania about machines taking over human labor was present.

This similarity between the current situation and the industrial revolution one emphasizes almost the same ideas that they used to mitigate the times then, it is the fact that adapting, being flexible and continuously learning are the key points that will determine who will utilize the upcoming industrial waves now to their benefit.

Along this article we’ll discover the main concepts that are becoming growingly relevant when discussing the AI in engineering revolution and what you need to know to navigate them including generative AI, how it’s implemented and the main ideas around it and how you can utilize it.

Here’s a quick sneak peak, the term "generative AI" describes the application of predictive modeling and machine learning to create new and unique outputs. It is a self-learning artificial intelligence (AI) that can examine data, spot trends, and produce fresh ideas or solutions.

Bear in mind that even though AI has great potential it’s learning from data that is fed to it from actual very human engineers, and even though we’re not sure if AI can gain more profound insights, it’s very evident that it can produce fast and accurate results.


Acknowledging the potential of AI in engineering

It's vital to recognize the potential advantages AI may have for the engineering industry, even though the thought of AI replacing engineers may unnerve some. AI has the potential to improve engineering design and significantly cut the product development cycle time down.

AI can also assist engineers in complex tasks, such as optimization and simulations, by providing fast and accurate results. Moreover, AI algorithms have the capacity to learn and advance over time, enabling the creation of increasingly complex and intelligent engineering systems.

Striking a balance between AI's potential and human engineers' experience is essential though. Artificial intelligence (AI) can automate some repetitive activities, but it cannot take the place of human engineers' intuition, creativity, and expertise.

In the next section, we will delve deeper into the limitations of AI in engineering, and how human engineers can adapt and thrive in this evolving technological landscape.

The irreplaceable qualities of human engineers

Although artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionize the engineering industry, human engineers are still incomparable due to some key characteristics such as intuition and empathy.

Engineering is not simply about crunching figures and evaluating data. Human engineers have the capacity for critical thinking, asking the right questions and experience-based decision-making. This intuitive thinking is difficult to replicate with AI alone.

Creativity is another irreplaceable quality of human engineers.it is the capacity to think creatively, develop original ideas, and stretch the bounds of what is conceivable. AI lacks the natural capacity for creative thought and the ability to see novel solutions, even though it can help with idea generation.

Additionally, Human engineers also have feelings and empathy, which enables them to understand end customers' wants and preferences. resulting in solutions that take user experience and human considerations into account while meeting technical specifications. AI may struggle to fully grasp the emotional and human-centered aspects of engineering.

Moving into an AI-driven future, it's critical to acknowledge that human engineers will always be essential.

We can make amazing strides in the engineering profession by integrating the advantages of AI with the special abilities of human engineers. We'll talk about how engineers can prosper in this rapidly changing technical environment in the part that follows. Stay tuned for more insights!

Unlocking the power of generative AI

In the quickly evolving world of technology today, generative AI has emerged as a powerful tool for engineers. But what exactly is generative AI, and how does it work? Let’s demystify the essential concepts behind generative AI, from its foundations in machine learning and predictive modeling, to the intricacies of data cleaning techniques.

Increasing awareness of concepts like predictive modeling definition to exploring the capabilities of convolutional neural networks in image classification, this article covers it all. Whether you're an aspiring engineer or a seasoned professional, unlocking the power of generative AI is essential in today's data-driven world. So, let's dive in and explore the fascinating world of generative AI together!

The potential of Generative AI

Generative AI has enormous potential in engineering and for a wide range of engineering applications. Because generative AI can speed up and optimize processes, it is a powerful tool for engineering fields that need high levels of precision, efficiency, and creativity.

By utilizing generative AI algorithms, the prototyping and manufacturing phases of engineering projects can be completely revolutionized. Moreover, generative AI has the potential to bring about a paradigm shift in the way data is used, stored, and thought about in engineering, making it a powerful tool in the field.

The potential of generative AI is immense, and as engineers, we have the opportunity to harness its power to transform our world. In the next section, we will delve deeper into the applications of generative AI across different industries and explore the possibilities it presents. Stay tuned!

What is Generative AI?

As engineers, understanding the basics of Generative AI is crucial to fully unlock its power. In this section, we will explore some foundational concepts that form the backbone of Generative AI.

To fully realize the potential of generative AI, engineers must grasp its fundamentals. This section looks at some fundamental ideas that serve as the framework for generative AI.

In very simple words, generative AI is fundamentally about producing new material that is generated based on patterns and data rather than explicitly coded.

The key concept is the Generative Model, which is trained on a dataset and learns to generate new samples that are like the training data. This process involves techniques like Graph neural networks (GNNs) and convolutional neural networks (CNNs).

In order to develop a model, you take the data that you have feed it into an AI model then you train the AI model on these datasets, after training you test the model check if it’s working properly, modify the model, train again, and reiterate until the predictive results are satisfactory.

After you have the model utilizing its predictive abilities is what really cuts down the development process time, as you have insights from thousands of data points a few minutes away to predict the next case you’ll need insights on.

Better models need better data

Having access to high-quality data is essential to maximizing the potential of generative AI as engineers must make sure they have access to better data so they can produce better models, because if you feed a model false, not so clean, inaccurate data it will generate insights of the same quality.

When it comes to Generative AI, the quality of the data directly impacts the output generated by the models. As a result, engineers should devote time and energy to selecting and creating rich, varied datasets that accurately reflect the desired outcome.

Additionally, engineers should also prioritize data cleanliness and accuracy. Cleaning and pre-processing data plays a significant role in improving the performance of generative models. By removing outliers, correcting errors, and standardizing the data, engineers can enhance the reliability and effectiveness of their AI models.

Engineers also need to think about the moral and legal ramifications of the data they use. In order to develop responsible and objective Generative AI models, it is essential to guarantee that the data is gathered in an ethical manner and that privacy rules are followed.

In the next section some examples of widely used Generative Ai models will be discussed, stay tuned!

Commonly relevant AI Models and tools used today (CNNs and GNNs)

An extensive array of AI models and tools is available to engineers for the purpose of developing robust and efficient Generative AI models. Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) and graph neural networks are two of the most popular models in the field of generative artificial intelligence (GNNs).

CNNs have proven to be exceptionally adept at working with visual data, making them an ideal choice for tasks such as image generation and style transfer. These models are designed to automatically extract and learn intricate features from images, enabling them to generate realistic and high-quality visuals.

On the other hand, GNNs are specifically designed to work with graph-structured data, which can be used in a variety of applications such as molecule generation and social network analysis. GNNs enable engineers to capture complex relationships and dependencies between different elements in a graph, leading to more accurate and context-aware generative models.

To help engineers harness the full potential of these models, tools like TensorFlow provide a powerful and flexible development environment. As an example, TensorFlow offers extensive libraries and utilities that simplify the process of building, training, and deploying Generative AI models.

In the upcoming section, we will delve deeper into the intricacies and applications of CNNs and GNNs, as well as explore how TensorFlow can be leveraged to unlock the true power of Generative AI. Stay tuned to discover how these tools and models can revolutionize the field of AI engineering.

Key Ward's engineers have strong and proven experience in applying different Generative AI models in various engineering fields such as turbomachinery, external aerodyamics, battery thermal optimization and external aerodynamics.

Understanding the Limitations of Generative AI and Mitigating Bias

Understanding the constraints and difficulties associated with generative AI is essential for engineers venturing into this field. Even while CNNs and GNNs are strong models, they have drawbacks. Producing skewed or imperfect results is one prevalent issue.

Generative AI models are trained on existing data, which means they can inadvertently learn biases present in the training set. This can lead to biased outputs that perpetuate unfair stereotypes or discriminate against certain groups. As responsible AI engineers, it is our duty to mitigate these biases and ensure fairness in our models.

Fortunately, there are techniques available to mitigate bias and improve the fairness of generative models. Pre-processing of training data, carefully curating diverse and representative datasets, and routine output monitoring and assessment are a few techniques that can be used.

In addition, tools like TensorFlow provide functionalities for bias detection and mitigation, allowing engineers to identify and rectify potential issues. By addressing these limitations and being proactive in ensuring fairness.

Embracing collaboration between AI and engineers

In the rapidly evolving field of engineering, the future lies in embracing the collaboration between AI and human engineers. While there are qualities that make human engineers irreplaceable, there is no denying the power and potential of AI in advancing engineering practices.

This collaborative approach can be implemented now starting from accelerating the product development cycle by using for example some generative AI methods to utilize the current data that you have for faster development in the future!

It can also accelerate the research endeavors of many engineers by implementing AI- assisted methods for better data analysis and better insights.

Engineers should perceive AI as a useful tool that may improve their work, not as a danger. Large volumes of data can be processed rapidly by AI, which can also spot patterns and trends that human engineers would miss. Engineers can simplify their procedures and make better decisions by utilizing this analytical power.

Find out how we can help with data preparation, processing, and implementing generative AI methods here !

So as all technologies advance, Artificial intelligence (AI) can perform monotonous jobs, giving engineers more time to concentrate on more important and creative areas of their work. AI can also be of help with idea generation and alternative solution exploration, which increases the likelihood of innovations and breakthroughs.

Conclusion: Preparing for a future of collaboration and innovation

This blog has established that incorporating AI into engineering processes can improve human engineers' talents and spur creativity rather than replace them.

Engineers should be proactive in preparing for this enticing future by being aware of the potential applications and constraints of artificial intelligence.

As AI technology evolves rapidly, it is crucial for engineers to keep up with the most recent l trends in AI technology as it is evolving quickly. This could entail going to conferences, workshops, and online courses or simply conducting a few quick searches every now and then.

Another aspect is, promoting multidisciplinary connections and cooperation is another crucial element. Engineers must look for chances to collaborate with experts in adjacent domains, such as data scientists and artificial intelligence specialists.

By combining the expertise of engineers and data scientists and generative AI methods, engineers can gain a deeper understanding of AI algorithms and ensure that the development of AI systems aligns with engineering principles.

In conclusion, AI-enabled engineering has a collaborative future where human skill and AI technology will live side by side. Through staying up to date, encouraging teamwork, and welcoming innovation, engineers may set themselves up for a world full of opportunities. Together, let's embrace this thrilling trip and shape engineering's future.

Sarah Elganzoury

CFD Engineer