The implications of Artificial Intelligence on Soweto furniture manufacturing SMEs

Lawrance Seseni, Charles Mbohwa

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Artificial Intelligence (AI) and mobile robotics are threatening to take over the office work (White-collar jobs). This concept of AI is not the first to replace the human work force. The first concept that took over the human workforce was automated machinery that took over the blue-collar jobs (production and general employees). It is important to understand that Artificial Intelligence first took off in the 1980s and 1990s and it discussed that it can add the competitiveness of the furniture manufacturing SMEs. The aim of this study is to find out if furniture manufacturing SMEs are ready for Artificial Intelligence in their enterprises. This study is qualitative, where a case study about furniture-manufacturing SMEs was developed. This study discovered that these SMEs are not ready because they do not have the necessary resources to can operate AI. Consequently, the implementation of AI will mean that most people will lose their jobs due to their jobs being replaced by a computer system. However, AI and computerisation automation could improve the quality of products and the services. A replication study must be done on other sectors so that a generalisation can be made about the overall readiness of AI in SA's SMEs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1686-1694
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management
Issue numberSEP
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event3rd North American IEOM Conference. IEOM 2018 -
Duration: 27 Sept 201829 Sept 2018


  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Business improvement strategies
  • Quality management
  • SMEs
  • Total Quality Management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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