AI and #SmartManufacturing in Pharma

Commonly known as Smart Manufacturing, the Industry 4.0 launch parties have been numerous across the globe. From conscious self-reporting and sometimes self-healing sensors which are now on the Wi-Fi grid, to AI algorithms used to program the quantities of chemical compounds that goes into the final medicines - perhaps you got a gist already.

It might sound unscrupulous of me to say that terrorists who commit acts like 9/11, are likely to infiltrate into manufacturing facilities which are highly sensitive to human life and death. The potential terrorist may be today's sober teens who out of nowhere dig up hacking material from Social Media Platforms which unfortunately is evolving with pseudo how-to-hack content and thereby keeping anti-social elements up to date with modern technologies. That redneck who served a 6-month jail term, or that child known in the neighbourhood as the sinceremost and was all along secretly inspired by the El Professor Netflix series - can be anyone who could alter the medical formulae or equations of chemical compounds used in manufacturing facilities. They say that thinking like thieves only leads to a better policing system. And Pharma is the most delicate sector where attacks on Smart Infrastructure can potentially stay undetected until it starts emerging through illnesses or diseases in communities.

Whether a mere set of best practices, or a mammoth check-list to secure the systems would be sufficient is doubtful. In fact, the need for a multi-dimensional AI Security Framework that encompasses 100% of the activities, Intellectual Property, staffing-generated datapoints and most importantly a disaster-prevention (rather than correction) oriented QMS / QA system - all these could more than fortify the efforts and purpose behind implementing large-scale AI into Pharma.

The robotic arms which adds compounds, the pre-decided quantities, accessibility to unnecessary compounds - most of these aspects may or may not be accessible from remote locations. Even if they are present on a Wi-Fi grid, that is like a door potentially available for entry to modern terrorism. IT-related solution architects, programming architecture, cybersecurity's malice-detection systems etc are a part of the stakeholder forum responsible for a secure AI environment in the Pharmaceutical Industry.

The same may or may not apply to ast-moving consumer goods as well. For example, altering ingredients of a particular brand or packages food which stays unnoticed in the long term. Nutmegs consumed in large amounts, or amounts higher than the amounts required just for flavouring; might as well act as an abortifacient or induce miscarriages. 

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