Embracing Generative AI In Mining

The mining industry is no stranger to artificial intelligence (AI)…

The mining industry is no stranger to artificial intelligence (AI) and automation.

Embracing Generative AI In Mining

It was one of the first industries to experiment with autonomous vehicles (AVs), dating back almost 30 years. Recently, this technology has gained serious traction; the mining AV market is projected to hit a staggering US$12.6 billion by 2031. At the same time, the number of new use cases for AI and automation has exploded, from leveraging AI-powered tools for resource estimation to testing autonomous drones designed to anticipate and prevent underground roof collapses.

Implementations have accelerated as AI and autonomy emerged as a business imperative. Then, about a year ago, generative AI entered the scene, promising a seismic shift in AI deployment and impact.

This technology has been brewing for some time, dating back to a 2017 paper called ‘Attention is All You Need’. However, in 2023, it hit the mainstream conversation, taking the business world by storm. A third of business leaders already say their companies are using generative AI.3 40% say they intend to increase their investment in AI because of advances in generative AI. Everywhere, people are discussing ChatGPT and its counterparts – how will it disrupt industries, from healthcare to transportation? How much more efficient can it make companies? How can they get started?

It is high time the mining industry enters the conversation. With various challenges that AI and automation are well-suited to address and troves of domain-specific data, mining companies are uniquely positioned to benefit from this technological revolution. Here is why and how the industry should embrace the opportunity.

Dig into the impact of AI and automation to date

Before digging into the revolutionary impact expected from generative AI, it is necessary to set the scene on where the industry stands today through an overview of the areas where AI and automation are already improving operations. Mining companies grapple with a range of challenges that these technologies are already tackling head-on, including:

  • Safety: Mining is a hazardous industry. From incidents with machinery to cave-ins, it is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the US. The industry employs approximately 1% of global labour, but generates 8% of fatal accidents. Companies can use autonomous solutions to remove employees from harm’s way.
  • Workforce support: There is a growing labour crunch in the industry. 71% of mining leaders say the talent shortage makes it difficult to hit production targets. 86% say it is harder to fill the roles they need today, compared to two years ago. This challenge is acute and expected to worsen as half of the workforce retires, interest from young talent declines, and the need for mined resources skyrockets. Technology can help augment the existing workforce and plug gaps where they exist.

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Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/mining/21022024/embracing-generative-ai-in-mining/

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