Manufacturing workers in a factory setting with generative AI data visualizations overlaid, suggesting real-time production optimization.

The manufacturing sector is no stranger to technological advancements. Now, it’s on the cusp of a transformative shift driven by Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI). This revolutionary technology changes the way manufacturers and distributors approach search and knowledge discovery.

Lucidworks and Google Cloud recently explored manufacturing professionals’ thoughts and expectations about generative AI in new research conducted by WBR Insights. Titled The Impact of Generative AI on Search and Knowledge Discovery in the Manufacturing Sector, the report reveals the power of combining manufacturing and generative AI.

AI Deployment in Manufacturing Today

Artificial intelligence is an integral part of modern manufacturing, promising improved efficiency, accuracy, and productivity. According to the study, “Almost all the respondents surveyed (93.5%) say their organizations are using AI in some way today. This result supports recent industry trends suggesting that AI is a fundamental part of modern business strategies, whether the technology is linked to content development, data analysis, or search and discovery.”

Among those surveyed, 60.22% reported using Generative AI to create additive content in response to search queries. This means that when users search for information, AI actively generates additional content to enhance their understanding. 46.5% are specifically incorporating it into their search and knowledge discovery processes. Additionally, 59.14% are using Generative AI to summarize internal document content, simplifying the process of locating critical information for employees.

Looking Ahead at Manufacturing and Generative AI

Manufacturers and distributors are eagerly anticipating the potential benefits of Generative AI. An impressive 89% believe that AI will significantly enhance the search and knowledge discovery process for users in the future. These high expectations are driven by the belief that AI will not only make work more accurate (66%) but also accelerate output (51%).

Despite the promising outlook, the research reveals AI program maturity in search and knowledge discovery continues to evolve. Currently, only 1% of respondents consider their AI programs “very mature.” However, the industry’s sentiment is optimistic, with 42% expecting their AI programs to be very mature within the next two years.

Moreover, 57% of organizations are likely to increase their use of AI in search and knowledge discovery in the coming year. This shows a clear trend toward greater AI adoption in the near future. Specifically, 65.5% intend to use AI to summarize internal document content. Moreover, 51% plan to utilize AI to create additive content in response to search queries.


The study shares several important recommendations for bringing manufacturing and generative AI together. Two of those recommendations are:

  1. Use AI to Summarize Employee Search Content and Create Additive Content for Search Queries: Most B2B companies want to use AI for these search and discovery applications in the next 12 months. They could significantly improve knowledge capture for employees and help bolster search results with meaningful content.
  2. Prioritize Data Quality and Security: For AI search and discovery tools to function effectively and deliver accurate results, they need to be fed high-quality, unbiased data. Therefore, companies should prioritize maintaining the health and quality of their data. They should also invest in robust data security measures to protect sensitive information and build trust among their stakeholders.

Generative AI is poised to revolutionize search and knowledge discovery in the manufacturing sector. The future of manufacturing will undoubtedly be shaped by the power of Generative AI, making search and knowledge discovery more efficient, accurate, and responsive to user needs.

Read the full report: Manufacturing and Generative AI: A Look at the Future of Search and Knowledge Discovery

About the Research Sponsors

Lucidworks and Google Cloud deliver a complete solution for retail/commerce, service/support, and workplace/knowledge management. With Lucidworks and Google Cloud, search professionals get a scalable, complete, best-of-industry solution through a proven partnership and delivery model. WBR Insights is the custom research division of Worldwide Business Research (WBR). WBR is the world leader in industry-driven thought-leadership conferences to help inform and educate key stakeholders.

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