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Artificial intelligence is another one of the “new age technologies” reaching the industrial market and there is a new AI-centric Negotiation Automation Platform Testbed available to help manufacturing supply chains win contracts.

Introduced by the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), The Negotiation Automation Platform Testbed uses a variety of AI infrastructure technologies, which automatically negotiate with each other, in order to find mutually agreeable contract terms. In the future, the testbed aims to promote standardization activities that support the growth of AI throughout society.

Within IIC, the Negotiation Automation Platform Testbed was led by IIC member NEC Corporation with support from IIC members Kabuku Inc., Fraunhofer IOSB and Korea Electronics Technology Institute (KETI).

“In a manufacturing use case, automatic negotiation on conditions for the trading of products benefits both buyers and sellers,” said IIC Testbed Lead Dr. Satoshi Morinaga, research fellow at NEC. “It enables buyers to be flexible with their demands by expressing their procurement requirements within a range and sellers can expand opportunities for orders and profits by making full use of their assets.

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“In a logistics use case, automatic negotiation can facilitate on-demand shared transport services. This can help factories minimize their transport systems in situations when logistics costs are high and redundant traffic will increase the total vehicle traffic,” Morinaga said.

The platform works where each company that makes or receives an order is provided with a negotiation AI agent through the IIC Negotiation Automation Platform.

The AI agent searches for terms and conditions that can be agreed upon by both parties by using standardized protocols, data formats and lexical definitions. If both parties agree, it will be understood to be contracted automatically. Even if agreed, the final contract will be carried out by human users.

The IIC Negotiation Automation Platform makes it easier for both parties to a find win-win condition and helps to make the manufacturing and logistics value chain efficient and flexible.

Other participants on the IIC Negotiation Automation Platform Testbed team include Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd., Toyota Tsusho Corporation and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

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