SAIMC


SAIMC: From the office of the CEO: Cavemen to Chatbots

February 2024 SAIMC

This month, we have a contribution to our Cavemen to Chatbots challenge. The idea is to reminisce on where our industry came from, and where it is headed. Our contributor this month, and the winner of this month’s R1000, comes from an old and dear friend and colleague who has contributed, and is still contributing so much to our industry, Michael Brown.


Reading through his article brings back so many memories, and reminds me of the way things have changed and are still changing. You can see the traditional thinking in education and how that caused headaches for those entering industry. You will learn of the struggles with technology that could not do what we wanted it to do, in contrast with today, where we have technology available that can do things we have not even dreamed of. You will see the marvellous things that people like Michael did with the technology available at the time.

Asaf Amir, CEO of Chatsuite, wrote an article in VentureBeat about how chatbots are still in the caveman stage. He argues that although chatbots have been hailed as modern-day marketing Messiahs, they need some work before they can pull off miracles. It takes time for people to realise that chatbots are just a tool, and that although they may solve problems, they come with a slew of other issues that didn’t exist before, and that need to be dealt with now.

If you are interested in learning more about chatbots, Zapier has compiled a list of the best AI chatbots in 2024 (https://zapier.com/blog/best-ai-chatbot/). ChatGPT is one of the best AI chatbots overall. It is free and easy to use, and it works like a search engine with up-to-date information on current events, and links back to sources. Microsoft Bing AI is another chatbot that can generate text, images and search results.

The term “boer maak ‘n plan” can be clearly seen in Michael’s description of his time during the apartheid years. It reminded me so much of the home-built controllers used at various critical plants in South Africa because of the boycotts. Our politicians have no idea what damage they caused by irresponsible behaviour, both to our industry and our financial systems. Award-winning economists are recommending that South Africans seriously look at taking their investments abroad. If business must stay out of politics, politicians should stay out of business.

Professional registration

We are still looking for more professional technicians, technologists and engineers to put up their hands for training as ECSA assessors in Mechatronics and Computer Engineering. Please send you names and contact details to [email protected]

Time is running out for those individuals doing ‘engineering work’. Make sure you register this year. We have recommendations and links for you on our website. Make use of these before it is too late.

Future jobs

With the rapid pace of technological advancements, it is natural to wonder what the future holds for us and our children. The skills that will be in demand in the future are likely to be different from those that were in demand in the past. According to a report by Pluralsight, some of the most sought-after tech skills in 2024 and beyond include data science, blockchain and cybersecurity.

When developing new material, education institutions should consider the skills that will be in demand in the future. Artificial intelligence has advanced to the stage where machines can create content that seems like it was done by humans. Although this technology is still in its infancy, it is already revolutionising various industries. Jobs such as AI researchers, data scientists, and robotics designers are likely to be in high demand in the future, and should be considered by both education institutions and people looking for a new direction in their professional lives.

Yours in automation

Johan Maartens




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

From the office of the CEO: Be warned, you are doing engineering work if …
SAIMC SAIMC
This is not a new law. The only thing that is new is that ‘engineering work’ is now defined. You need to study the definition for yourself.

Read more...
SAIMC: Johannesburg branch
SAIMC SAIMC
At the meeting of the Johannesburg branch of the SAIMC held on 10 April 2024, Sagadevan Kanniappen, sales application specialist for WIKA South Africa, delivered a presentation on the ASME Performance Test Code 19.3.

Read more...
SAIMC: Durban branch
SAIMC SAIMC
The topic of integrating an IoT-enabled sensoring system and cloud technology for predictive maintenance of a buried steel pipeline drew record attendance at the April technology meeting of the Durban branch of the SAIMC.

Read more...
SAIMC: Secunda branch
SAIMC SAIMC
The SAIMC Secunda branch held its monthly Technology Evening on 10 April 2024 at the Proconics office in Secunda.

Read more...
From the office of the CEO
SAIMC SAIMC
When South Africa clinched victory in the Rugby World Cup for the fourth time, the nation collectively rejoiced. However, amidst this optimism lies a pertinent question: is South Africa truly a land of hope, or is it merely a fool’s paradise?

Read more...
SAIMC: Johannesburg branch
SAIMC SAIMC
The local Johannesburg Branch of the SAIMC hosted a technology evening at the Bryanston Sports Club on 13 March 2024. It was sponsored by Phoenix Contact and the technical presentation covered the full gambit of industrial wireless technology in the automation field.

Read more...
SAIMC: Durban Branch
SAIMC SAIMC
The SAIMC Durban technology meeting in March drew a record attendance, with an old friend of the SAIMC, Gary Friend presenting on the very topical subject of ‘Risks, rewards, advantages and disadvantages of new technologies and the impact of legislation’.

Read more...
SAIMC: Secunda Branch
SAIMC SAIMC
The SAIMC Secunda branch held its monthly Technology Evening on 6 March 2024 at the Proconics, Secunda office. Sagadevan Kanniappen from WIKA presented on Thermowell stress calculations as per ASME PTC 19.3.

Read more...
SAIMC: From the office of the CEO
SAIMC SAIMC
The manufacturing industry is facing some challenges due to automation and outsourcing, but there are still opportunities in advanced manufacturing, such as 3D printing and robotics. It’s essential to stay updated on the latest trends and technologies in the industry to remain competitive.

Read more...
SAIMC:Johannesburg branch
SAIMC SAIMC
The annual general meeting of the SAIMC Johannesburg branch was held on 7 February 2024 at the Northcliff Country Club.

Read more...