Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) has launched a new Artificial Intelligence Working Group to help demystify AI and enable the mining industry to harness its applications.
The working group has launched with a workshop hosted by IBM in Australia in November 2018. The group intends to create a greater understanding of AI and its applications in mining and promote increased openness to enable companies to adopt AI technologies safely and effectively. It will be a community of interest on the topic, bringing together operators, AI experts from inside and outside the mining industry, and other mining stakeholders.
Several other GMG projects, including those on interoperability, autonomous systems, short interval control and underground communications infrastructure, have touched on AI because its application has the potential enhance many other integrated technologies and processes.
While the industry is beginning to recognise AI as an opportunity to improve operational efficiency, it is still lacking a clear understanding of how mainstream technologies (such as facial recognition, scene detection, voice recognition) translate to industrial settings. This makes it is difficult for companies to realise potential benefits from AI. Some companies have already dabbled but have stepped back from further work because they’ve been disappointed by outcomes from initial investments, said Mark O’Brien, leader of the working group.
Mining stakeholders have a range of questions and concerns: How can a mining company use AI to improve operations? Where can we start? Is it safe? How will the mine’s physical and digital infrastructure need to change to accommodate it? What are the change management implications? How will AI affect the workforce? The industry, therefore, requires a clearer understanding of its scientific background and specific applications in the industry.
Overall, AI needs to be explained in a way that builds confidence in the technology and demonstrates what successful applications in mining look like. To this end, the working group will initially focus on the three following aspects: First, educating the industry on what AI is (and is not) and defining common terminology. Second, documenting successful AI applications with use cases, identifying limitations or failures where appropriate. Third, making AI technologies accessible and providing clarity about requirements of AI deployments.
The group’s steering committee will further refine the scope and objectives and identify early projects.
Contact Jennifer Curran, GMG, email@example.com