NAM Regulatory Update: NAM Publishes First-of-Its-Kind Report on Vast Potential of Artificial Intelligence for Manufacturers

As part of an effort to bring more information about the regulatory and legal environment facing American manufacturers, NFPA is monitoring the newsfeed of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and will be bringing important updates like this to the attention of NFPA members.


The National Association of Manufacturers released a first-of-its-kind report, “Working Smarter: How Manufacturers Are Using Artificial Intelligence,” detailing use cases for artificial intelligence in manufacturing and case studies of how manufacturers are already implementing AI technologies to strengthen America’s workforce, advance innovation and improve the quality of life for everyone.

The report provides an overview of insights from leading manufacturers, including Johnson & Johnson, Schneider Electric and Hitachi, on how AI can improve efficiency, product development, safety, predictive maintenance and supply chain logistics. The report also outlines a series of recommendations on how policymakers can help support the safe, responsible development of AI while promoting innovation and growth.

“So much of the media and policymaking conversation is focused on generative AI, but AI is far more than that for modern manufacturers,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “It’s infused increasingly throughout the shop floor, research and development and beyond. Manufacturers are leading the way in the use and development of new AI technologies. From developing more effective clinical trials and improving workplace safety to strengthening supply chain resiliency and supporting workforce training for employees, AI is unlocking new opportunities to strengthen our modern manufacturing workforce and improve the lives of all Americans. Congress and the Biden administration can support manufacturers’ adoption of AI by enacting strong data privacy protections, investing in workforce training and providing regulatory certainty.”

“All possible futures for modern manufacturing in the U.S. involve AI,” said Johnson & Johnson Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Operations & Risk Officer and NAM Board Chair Kathy Wengel. “Given the importance of this generational technology, policymakers must develop sensible, carefully thought-out frameworks for various AI applications—and they should lean on manufacturers’ years of experience to engineer those frameworks. We need a policy environment that supports innovation and growth in manufacturing AI, because it will bolster U.S. competitiveness and leadership in this critical emerging field.”

Policy recommendations include the following:

  • Invest in R&D and career technical education institutions that train the modern manufacturing workforce.
  • Enact federal privacy legislation that advances individuals’ privacy and provides legal clarity that supports continued innovation and competitiveness.
  • Employ a risk-based approach that tailors any new AI regulations—only if new regulations are necessary—to specific use cases and minimizes compliance burdens.
  • Ensure that regulatory frameworks are aligned globally to maintain U.S. global leadership. The more disparate the approach to AI around the world, the more time, energy and investment companies will need to spend navigating misalignments.

Learn more at https://nam.org/issues/research-innovation-and-technology/ai/.

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