The Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) has published a new whitepaper that, it hopes, will better equip mining companies to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning technologies.
The Foundations of AI: A Framework for AI in Mining offers an overview of the process of planning for and implementing AI solutions for mining companies, GMG said.
GMG explained: “AI-based innovation is being used increasingly in the mining industry as a means to improve processes and decision-making, derive value from data and increase safety, but the levels of operational maturity are variable across the industry.
“Though many mining stakeholders are adopting AI, there is still uncertainty about the technology and how it can be harnessed in the mining industry.”
This white paper – developed collaboratively through workshops, conference calls and online collaboration tools – addresses a variety of concerns, such as the challenge of establishing data infrastructure, apprehensions about the effect on the workforce and worries about failure after investing substantial time and funds into an AI project, GMG said. “It offers a realistic strategy for building a foundation for planning, implementing and moving forward with AI.”
The primary audience is those in charge of introducing or expanding the use of AI in mining companies, according to GMG.
Rob Johnston, Project Manager at CITIC Pacific Mining and GMG AI Project Leader, says: “There has been a recent explosion in the application of AI in industry, and this document aims to assist mining companies to fully embrace this exciting technology and drive business value.”
Having this information available will also help cut through the hype that surrounds AI, according to GMG.
Andrew Scott, GMG Vice-Chair Working Groups and Principal Innovator at Symbiotic Innovations, said: “Although mining stakeholders generally recognise the value of understanding the technology, many are intimidated by the concept and see expertise in AI as a very specialised knowledge set, so this will help them start off on the right foot.”
This document will also be useful for those who are part of the ecosystem that surrounds mining companies, which comprises those assisting in applying the technology, culture and safety considerations and regulatory frameworks that are necessary for a successful AI strategy, according to GMG.
Speaking from his perspective as a solution provider, Kevin Urbanski, CTO at Rithmik Solutions, says the white paper will provide “current and future customers with a macro view of artificial intelligence and related solutions”, while helping mining operations to “identify opportunities to apply these powerful algorithms within their organisations.”
He added: “Mining companies know best what their needs are, and this document will help them match those needs with what’s possible.”
Urbanski thinks the document will also help to standardise communications around the technology, saying it will “provide great level-setting, ensuring that we and our customers are speaking the same language when talking about AI”.
Johnston, meanwhile, says that while this publication is an important step, the document will be reviewed and updated as needed: “The field of AI moves so fast that this will be a document that will be updated regularly in order to remain relevant to the industry.”