From the looks of it, you'd think the USA is leading the way in automation and integrating new technologies. This is likely due to the large amount of tech companies originating from this country. Historically, Americans have been pioneers in technological innovation and automation adoption, particularly in manufacturing, automobiles, logistics and information technology.
Undoubtedly, American companies such as Tesla, Amazon and Google demonstrate in remarkable ways how automation can improve efficiency and productivity. However, one may wonder if American companies are really that far ahead and if we should be concerned about the progress of automation in small and medium-sized businesses. My answer to this question is ambiguous.
During my business trip, I had the opportunity to meet numerous companies interested in collaborating with us for their artificial intelligence projects because, yes, Canada is a "hot" destination for AI in the eyes of many Americans. It's not just a myth!
In addition to this, I’ve also come back with other interesting observations and comparisons. During our discussions with manufacturers of all sizes, we've observed that medium-sized companies and/or those from more traditional sectors are less automated than the well-established giants in the industry. It appears that the rapid advancement of new technologies over the past 5-10 years has taken many by surprise.
Essentially, we discovered from the people we spoke to at Automate that the level of automation adoption varies significantly between industries and regions in the USA. For instance, areas like California's Silicon Valley are known for being highly advanced centers of technological innovation and automation, just as some Canadian provinces, such as Ontario and Quebec, have prosperous manufacturing and technology industries that have adopted automation on a large scale.
American companies have slightly different priorities from those of most companies here. While labour shortage may be a minor issue for them right now, their focus is on productivity and competitiveness.
Speaking of productivity, did you know that the U.S. experienced its sharpest decline since 1947 during the first half of 2022, despite having a solid year in 2021? According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics and the Washington Post, this information raises questions about the effects of remote work and the phenomenon of "quiet quitting". It seems that our neighbours to the south are also facing their challenges!