Great article! This was a really informative introduction to the aviation manufacturing industry, and great overview of where they are headed in the future. I want to propose an alternative approach that GE could take when assessing the applications of additive manufacturing to engine production. Instead of first starting with the heaviest, most complex parts, they could first start with the least complex. While the cost savings wouldn’t be as immense, they could more easily iterate and evolve their additive manufacturing technologies. Once the technology was more developed, they could apply it to the more heavy, important parts. Similarly, starting with the smaller parts mean they are also likely under the least stress, allowing GE to safely test this technology – should they test on a large, heavily stressed part, they may run into longevity and safety issues that they did not anticipate.
Thank you for this article. Really interesting to see that the entire industry is grappling with this problem, but that the most visible among them (Facebook, Google) are at the highest risk of damaging their reputations. In response to your questions about how companies can ensure that they are not crossing the line, I propose that consumers could be more a part of the process. Can they more easily choose if they want personalized ads? Can there always be a clear path to opt out, or perhaps even have consumers opt into these services? I also wonder if these large companies will ever come together to create a set of standards to which every company will hold themselves accountable. Will that kind of partnership among competitors ever be possible? Will they ever share learnings so as to better understand what crosses the line between innovation and creepiness?
Great article! It is refreshing to see how airlines like Delta are leading the way in machine learning, as current public discourse has largely been about the industry’s trend towards shrinking seats and amenities for customers. In response to your question about when customers will be comfortable with machines in airlines replacing humans – I agree that the rollout will have to be staggered, with perhaps the last step being self-flying planes. I imagine that the first step will be the low stakes positions, where safety is not compromised (or interpreted as being compromised); perhaps roles like customer service, ticketing, and even some flight attendant roles. However, I also see a potential reputational issue with this, as airlines like United have recently come under fire because of poor company policies and actions by flight attendants . I imagine that it will be even harder to integrate machines into these roles, when trained humans can’t navigate the intricacies of customer service grey areas.
Awesome article! I was also a big fan of LEGO as a kid, and was very interested to see how they’ve evolved and survived the bankruptcies of other peer companies like Toys-R-Us. As you cite that LEGO’s survival hinged upon their digital partnerships and open innovation platform, wanted to add one more consideration into the mix – as LEGO partners with more digital partners like Tencent, they should also be wary about the growing rise of anti-screen parents . As kids have become more digitally dependent, parents have in turn become more strict, and we might see a decline in usage, which could force LEGO to pivot once again.
Thank you for this article – really important that we shine a light on efforts like this from non-profits like UNICEF. Wanted to address your recommendation for UNICEF to invest in a repository of data and key learnings, and keep it open to the public. While I agree that this could be a great way to connect with likeminded organizations and even some benefactors, I worry that it too could cross the line towards exploitative towards vulnerable communities and children. As you said, UNICEF will have to be extremely careful and measured as it evolves this platform in the future.
Love the article! Wanted to comment on your recommendation for Nike to develop its own additive manufacturing technologies, instead of relying on partnerships. I agree that it would be a smart strategic move, and one to consider as an aspirational goal for the future – but as it stands now, many companies don’t want to invest the money into owned technologies until the entire field becomes more advanced.  I think until technology develops further, brands like Nike will not be able to source the capital to invest.
 “Google Moon Shot could Give Industrial 3D Printing a Boost.” Industry Week, 2017, ABI/INFORM via ProQuest, accessed November 2018.