“I’ve got bad news. If you are betting the farm on self-driving trucks as part of your supply chain strategy, you’re in serious trouble. I’m not saying we’ll never get there, but we’re not anywhere close,” said Missy Cummings, director of Mason's Autonomy and Robotics Center (MARC) and a professor in George Mason University, speaking at the CSCMP EDGE 2023 conference in Kissimmee, Florida.
She described the disastrous test by TuSimple of its self-driving truck technology in 2022. When the truck switched into autonomous mode, it immediately attempted a 90-degree turn at 65 miles per hour on the highway and narrowly avoided hitting a pickup truck, because it was still uploading commands from another test drive earlier that day.
Professor Cummings was explaining the limitations of artificial intelligence, warning, “There’s so much hype out there; it’s your job as supply chain executives to understand what’s real and what’s not.” Executives need to understand the difference between "good old-fashioned AI," which simply follows rules, and neural networks, which feed information back into themselves for continuous learning. But that process can simply proliferate misinformation and even spread propaganda. “All neural networks, all large language models, all generative AI; it’s all just guessing,” Cummings said.
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