5 Ways the Print Industry Uses AI

It's no secret that Artificial Intelligence is front and centre of any tech related news source, in fact any AI related blogs that I post are certainly the main attraction. Beyond the sensationalist claims of robots stealing jobs and AI spinning out of control, industry analysts, specifically PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), are predicting 2018 to be the year that "AI will come down to earth - and get to work".

Artificial Intelligence

The generally accepted definition of AI is a machine with the ability to imitate intelligent human behaviour, however this is an umbrella term for a spectrum of technology so the industry has coined four types of AI.

1. Reactive Machines: The most basic functionality of AI, in which a machine reacts to a scenario, with no ability to use experience to inform decisions.

2. Limited Memory: The machine can make an observation about environments to inform a decision - this is the technology behind self driving vehicles.

3. Theory of mind: Reaching into the more science fiction now, for AI to fall into this category, the machine must have the ability to understand thoughts and emotions and use them to react to the world around it.

4. Self-Aware AI: The most advanced form of AI, in which the machine has its own consciousness.

5 examples of AI in the Print Industry

The majority of hype and sensation building revolves around the latter two categories however in reality, the first two categories of AI, Reactive Machines and Limited Memory, are what the print industry is showing interest in.

The potential of this type of AI to open up new revenue streams for print based businesses, by improving the effectiveness of end-to-end print processes, from print job creation all the way through to continuous production.

- Smart Algorithms: The algorithms In Xerox FreeFlow software can figure out different document layouts, such as optimising imposition in order to minimise printed waste.

- Direct mail and Catalogs: As more data about mail recipients is made available, the machine can now use that data to create even more relevant mailings by automatically customising the job content for the recipient.

- Job Submission: With Xerox FreeFlow smart software, a machine can monitor which presses are busy and route new jobs to available presses.

- Self monitoring: Presses with self monitoring abilities are constantly checking themselves with multiple sensors. They then use this information to make real-time adjustments for things like paper alignment and image quality.

- Data about the press: The data can be sent back to Xerox where tools and algorithms are used to analyse it, compare it and identify necessary updates to adjustments that a technician should make.

When you look at the broader picture, what does it all mean? It means that creating complex jobs is becoming more automated, increasing volume and page value. At the same time, print presses are becoming more productive and can be serviced faster.

If you're interested in how a print infrastructure built with the needs of your business in mind can boost the performance of your business, check out our managed print solutions to read more.

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