A few days ago, the 2019 World Conference on Artificial Intelligence has come to an end. This conference brings together experts, scholars and leading enterprises from the world's artificial intelligence field and the Internet to discuss such hot topics as cutting-edge algorithms, AI chips, intelligent robots, AI+ industry, unmanned driving and investment and financing. It focuses on the influence of artificial intelligence technology on various vertical industries and promotes the integration and development of artificial intelligence industry and technological innovation. The AI Technology Household Appliance Industry Sub-Forum was held at the same time as the conference. This is the first time WAIC has focused on AI high-end household appliances.
In fact, the application of AI technology in the household electrical appliance industry has landed and enabled it. On the one hand, the application of AI technology by mainstream home appliance manufacturers has covered the entire industrial chain; On the other hand, AI smart appliances pay more attention to scenario application. With the development of AI technology, the iterative design of the combination of intelligent hardware technology and household appliances, and the Internet of Things environment brought by 5G, the intelligent development of household appliances will accelerate.
AI Technology Application Covers Household Appliance Industry Chain
China's household electrical appliance industry ranks first in the world in production scale and is one of the industries with strong international competitiveness. At present, under the influence of macro-economy, enterprises generally feel great pressure to operate. The 2019 China Household Appliance Industry Semi-annual Report shows that in the first half of this year, the retail sales in the domestic household appliance market was 412.5 billion yuan, down 2.1% year on year.
Facing the declining market data and the challenges from digitalization, it is of great importance for household appliance enterprises to seize the opportunity of intelligent transformation. Mainstream home appliance enterprises are making great efforts to use AI and other intelligent technologies to empower traditional home appliance manufacturing, sales, research and development, supply chain, after-sales service and other links to provide new momentum for digital transformation of enterprises.
In the manufacturing sector, the intelligent factories or production lines of Haier, Midea, Gree, Changhong, Hisense and other enterprises have become comprehensive pilot demonstration projects of intelligent manufacturing of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. These projects apply AI technology to cover many aspects of research and development, procurement, production and sales. For example, Haier's industrial Internet platform COSMOPlat is an artificial intelligence-led transformation, which includes building a mass customization platform from user ordering, intelligent production to user experience iteration and an interconnected factory intelligence service cloud platform supported by remote artificial intelligence technology. In addition to realizing its own transformation, Haier COSMOPlat is transforming from home appliance industry to auto, ceramics, clothing and other industries with ecological empowerment, replicating and forming 15 industry formats and promoting them in more than 20 countries around the world.
Changhong Huayi Pilot Demonstration Project for Intelligent Manufacturing of High Efficiency Variable Frequency Compressors for Household Appliances, which adopts automation and information technology, has reduced the number of workers in automated production lines by 1/3. In the future, Huayi will realize the rate of producing an ice pressure product every "7 seconds" and realize the intelligent connection of production line, finance, sales, orders, customers and other links.
New technologies such as Internet, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and big data are reconstructing the supply chain of the entire household appliance industry. At the 2019 World Conference on Artificial Intelligence, the Ministry of Science and Technology announced the latest batch of national artificial intelligence open innovation platforms and Jingdong Intelligent Supply Chain was selected. Experts said that the value of building a new generation of artificial intelligence open innovation platform in an intelligent supply chain country can, from an upstream perspective, enhance industrial resource allocation capability, coordination capability and service support capability, promote structural reform on the supply side, and help traditional enterprises to transform into intelligent and digital ones. From the consumer side, it means that consumers can enjoy "good products", "good price", "good service", "good experience" and even more personalized products and services to meet the needs of modern consumers in all aspects.
Smart Home Appliances Pay Attention to Scene Application
Artificial intelligence technology is enabling the functions of household electrical appliances. In the past, only Wi-Fi was used to control household electrical appliances with mobile phones, which was a common configuration. With the continuous progress of information technology and the maturity of AI algorithms, mainstream companies in the United States and Haier have successively introduced intelligent household appliances with certain "perception" and "thinking" capabilities and the ability to make independent decisions according to the scene.
Colmo 2019 "AI Technology Household Appliances White Paper" was officially released at the household appliance industry sub-forum of the 2019 World Artificial Intelligence Conference on the theme of AI Enabling Technology Human Settlements. The white paper is dedicated to promoting the high-quality integration of AI technology and home appliance industry and jointly defining new standards for AI technology home appliances. It is reported that the new prospect of future human settlement depicted by COLMO AI technology appliances includes three aspects: first, AI technology empowerment, second, products and services, third, customization centered on users, re-planning the product development path based on AI, focusing on accurate, concise and intelligent AI application experience, bringing new scenes to users and the market.
Taking COLMO AI technology appliances as an example, after the rice cooker uses AI visual perception function, it can identify the subtle difference of rice quality through AI cloud brain, and allocate the best rice-water ratio according to the rice species. The washing machine can intelligently sense the type, color and volume of clothes and provide the corresponding washing environment by means of AI camera. COLMO air conditioner can customize the user's sleep curve and know when and what temperature the user needs. In the future, COLMO air conditioner is expected to be interconnected with mobile phones, ovens and rice cookers to make meals ready before the user returns home.
Driven by artificial intelligence technology, Huawei, Haier, Jingdong and Suning have successively introduced smart home appliances solutions based on various application scenarios, and have added codes to lay out smart home living platforms. COLMO's goal is to improve household electrical appliances' perception, cognition, decision-making and understanding of the surrounding environment in the next 3-5 years, so as to make products more personalized, thus accurately customizing various life scenes.
Wang Lei, vice-chairman of the China Association of Household Appliances, said that the application of artificial intelligence in household appliances started earlier. In the new stage of development of the household appliance industry, continuous technological innovation is needed, and artificial intelligence technology plays an important role in promoting the development. On the one hand, upstream intelligent hardware, artificial intelligence technology and household electrical appliances should be well integrated. On the other hand, the development of intelligent household appliances puts forward new requirements for the industry, that is, to realize interconnection under multiple scenarios for different brands and categories of household appliances. With the development of artificial intelligence to a certain stage, home appliance enterprises should pay more attention to the ethical principles of artificial intelligence besides considering the safety of technology and data information.
Some experts also mentioned that the current application of artificial intelligence technology in the field of household appliances is basically limited to the field of big data intelligence, and insufficient attention has been paid to the new generation of artificial intelligence technologies such as brain-like artificial intelligence, bionic equipment and the accumulation of data resources. In addition, the development of household electrical appliance industry is extremely unbalanced, and many small and medium-sized enterprises still remain in the traditional production and operation mode. It is suggested to guide small and medium-sized enterprises to build artificial intelligence strategies and capabilities through various ways.