The next era of automation is not about programming machines but teaching machines. For the last decade or more, we have programmed machines to mimic processes and movements with the goal of increasing volume and production capacity. However, when we simply tell a machine what to do, material inconsistencies and the production tolerance issues they create, hold automation’s true potential back. New technologies like AI, machine vision and learning are expanding what “automation” can do and be taught. If we really want to reinvent manufacturing, the industry needs to embrace a new mentality of teaching machines, looking beyond simply increasing volume toward building intelligence.