Industry 4.0 and the ability to tailor individual components to specific customer needs will significantly impact the way we need to provide nondestructive testing (NDT) inspections. We now call this NDE 4.0. This does not necessarily mean that we will develop a new type of nondestructive evaluation (NDE); however, we will have to prepare or adapt our current techniques for integration into the cyber-controlled production process by networking with the machines and materials used during manufacturing. The ability to produce individual parts tailored to specific customer needs will result in a paradigm shift between industrial quality management and NDE. The following paper will discuss the challenges and opportunities that the NDE industry will face in today’s age, which the authors have named the “age of artificial intelligence.” This is characterized by “digitalization” and moving toward an exponential convergence of atoms, bits, qubits, neurons, and genes. Artificial intelligence will potentially be the key to creating smart machines with the ability to make smart decisions on their own while working side by side in a partnership with humans.
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