The COALA vision for AI in manufacturing is the development of human-centered digital assistant that provides a more proactive and pragmatic approach to support operative situations characterized by cognitive load, time pressure, and little or zero tolerance for quality issues. COALA will help shaping the complementarity in the collaboration between the AI-based assistant and the human so that 1) the AI will take over time consuming and stressful tasks reliably and credibly, while 2) the human will focus on understanding and problem solving in complex2, knowledge-intensive situations. COALA’s AI-focused education and training concept will prepare the human-side of the collaboration by offering concept for teaching professionals systematically and, in the language of the workers, about the capabilities, risks, and limitations of AI in manufacturing. COALA plans to demonstrate its solution in three complex and highly dynamic manufacturing domains that are confronted with the megatrend of Industry 4.0, but are characterized by different peculiarities and thus are a perfect fit to demonstrate the full potential of the COALA concept.