Images taken of Motorola products by the Instrumental system during assembly. Machine learning can be used for more than violating your privacy for a social media challenge. For example, one fascinating application has been developed by Instrumental AI, which uses machine learning to detect defects and anomalies in photographs of parts during various stages of assembly, primarily in the electronics manufacturing industry.
Instrumental was founded by Anna Shedletsky, a former Apple engineer with two degrees from Stanford. A mechanical engineer by training, Shedletsky led system products design for the Apple Watch for six years. She reported directly to to Jony Ive and Jeff Williams . “The way Apple kind of divides up responsibilities is I was not only designing products in the team that was designing the physical products, but actually we were responsible for the first production line and getting mass production deals at mass production speeds on the first lines,” said Shedletsky.
In this role at Apple, she noticed how very small defects on the line could cause huge delays and problems in the product lifecycle and profitability. So, she set out to build technology tools that could address these defects. “I had this kind of naïve, but correct insight that there aren’t great tools for this. that we struggle by just throwing people and money at these problems. And if Apple didn’t have it, it didn’t exist.” Anna Shedletsky, CEO, Instrumental AI Shedletsky left apple in 2015 to start Instrumental, a software company which has developed a toolkit for detecting manufacturing defects in digital photos taken on the manufacturing line. “We’ve been at it for four years. We work primarily with Fortune 500 companies in the consumer electronics and electronics space. We do have customers outside of electronics, but consumer electronics is kind of the hardest beast, because the volumes are pretty high,” she explained. “The products themselves are high value, but they go through production super fast. So, some of our customers only run products in production for six months. It’s just these super fast cycles of development and production. So that’s where we kind of specialize today. We build technology that helps accelerate the development process and then maintain control in production.” A prototype L16 inside an Instrumental station. Photo Credit: Light The trend functionality in Instrumental software.