Bentley: Wow! I’ve seen the dream factory of the future

Jurga Zilinskiene MBE | Aug 11, 2023 9:01:22 AM

You may have seen Charlie Chaplin’s hit silent movie comedy Modern Times from 1936. It’s the black and white epic where the Little Tramp is a factory production line worker. The owners are trying to replace him with new machines. The result is hilarious chaos.

This story is timeless because it uses Chaplin’s comedy genius to help you see the ultimate environmental, social and governance (ESG) consequences of getting technology wrong. It also lets us see how the hype around automation in production lines has been circulating for over a century. Hype about AI is more powerful than ever as we’ve discussed before.

Now, you will be pleased to learn, that the dream of a future where humans and machines work in harmony to revolutionise work and create a more sustainable, greener society is here today. I can verify this since I saw it with my own eyes at Bentley’s Dream Factory.

Bentley logo against green foliage

Humans at one with machines at Bentley

The experience left me and my colleagues inspired, filled with hope for the future. Best of all, we met amazing, happy women and men at one with machines. If only Charlie Chaplin was alive today and could have joined us on the day to see this magic of our ‘Modern Times’ in manufacturing; now there’s an idea for a movie remake.    

Tom Cottrell at Bentley’s Learning & Development Department kindly invited us to visit their Dream Factory in Crewe because Bentley commissioned us to help create a new learning package for ergonomic safety training. It features an authentic Virtual Human avatar presenter like the one of me you may have seen. These Virtual Humans can speak many languages including German and Mandarin.

Virtual Humans increase learning due to being more engaging. If Mr Chaplin is looking down, he can relax as I hasten to add, this AI is more Assisted Intelligence, because the digital twins help you to get best results and do not replace humans on the factory floor or classroom. 

Tom and his colleague Lynsey introduced us to the remarkable story of Bentley, it’s glorious heritage like the triumphant wins for the Bentley Girls and Boys of Speed at La Mans in the 1920s; The move to zero carbon emissions and plans to revolutionise transport and make sustainable luxury a reality.

Charlie Chaplin
Author: United Artists Wikimedia Commons

Bentley are a true inspiration

Lately, we’ve heard lots of talk about G20 governments and corporations transforming to address the climate emergency that’s unfolding right now. Sadly, action is less visible. Thus, I was deeply inspired since I saw how the vision of Bentley’s group chairman Herbert Diess to decarbonize is happening.

And best of all it is backed by their people. My colleagues Rachel Moss and David Clarke, our Head of Integrity joined me on the visit and were also filled with hope and inspiration. 

Rachel like many knows that climate change is now the greatest challenge for Humanity. “We all want to see immediate action” she said, adding, “Discovering Bentley’s vision to revolutionize manufacturing is sensational. Speaking with your people on the factory floor who passionately endorse that vision gives me a powerful sense of hope.”

Rachel was also moved by what Bentley did to promote green transportation through the founding of the CEO Alliance. Collaboration, trust and unity are key to success when implementing change and we wish the CEO Alliance every success.

David was inspired by what Bentley’s strategy meant for our grandchildren and their children. It is a challenge to imagine what life and career opportunities there will be for our grandchildren in just twenty years’ time. “Since seeing so many skilled craftswomen and men working in harmony with advanced technology at Bentley’s Dream Factory, I’ve been inspired”, David said. “Because it proves the green digital revolution offers extraordinary possibilities.

The chance to protect our environment, plus create exciting new careers for future generations” he added.

Bentley logo on red car

A shared vision of the future

Bentley Motors do have a remarkable heritage but goodness me, their vision for the future is extraordinary.  Their big Innovations in use of data science, digital twins, 3D printing, battery power and promotion of the best in traditional craftsmanship like woodworking and sustainable leather is remarkable.

So too is their research, testing an introduction of new technology to increase learning such as Holograms and now Guildhawk virtual human presenters. This is DX that continuously improves lives and productivity and reduces regulatory risk. Mr Chaplin would be amazed to see these ESG improvements.  

You can probably guess; I was seriously impressed. Moreover, as a female entrepreneur who loves technology and one of the rare breeds of CEOs that can actually code, this is not simply excitement at seeing multilingual data science come of age. At heart, I love to see people and businesses flourish.  I love to see international trade grow and grow sustainably.

Queen Elizabeth honoured Guildhawk with the Queen’s Award for International Trade in 2019. It was a consequence of the work Guildhawkers did to increase exports using the human and AI-powered technologies we’ve created since I founded the company in 2021.

This award win and amazing results is only possible because we blend our multilingual data science expertise with the power of the human brain and soul. At heart we are all creators and craftspeople that were born to make our world a safer, happier more sustainable place. I saw that mission, that dream in the eyes of all those I met at Bentley.

It is an honour to be part of their journey to build a greener, sustainable future and quickly. Thank you, Tom and all the team Bentley, for inspiring us with the knowledge that the Industry 4.0 revolution is here. And for inviting us to be part of it. Please tell me if I can do anything to help you.   

CEO Jurga Zilinskiene at Bentley factory