Artificial intelligence is taking the world by storm. Every day, it dominates headlines. People are curious. They’re interested. And some are scared.
Mining might not be one area that you would think AI is fit for – but there are surprising amounts of AI applications in the mining sector. It’s already making its place known in the industry.
So, how can AI, which learns and functions like a human would, help in the mining industry? Well, in a variety of ways:
1. It helps reduce risks.
Automation is often appreciated for its ability to reduce mining risks, but AI and automation could go hand-in-hand. Machine learning can assess and predict situations, note dangers and assess the environment. This means that miners can start operations with knowledge of the effects on biodiversity, the quality of the minerals and the potential risks involved.
AI automated vehicles also have the potential to be quicker, more efficient and smarter than humans at avoiding risks and therefore at optimising productivity.
Plus, with the Internet of Things, everything is connected – so mining problems can be picked up on in an instant.
2. It streamlines mineral exploration.
Roughly $54.3 billion was spent on gold exploration in the past ten years, but discovery rates are only declining.
Artificial intelligence can make mineral exploration easier in a simple way: by helping the detection of rich sources of minerals. This saves costs and allows for more profits. It can also help on an environmental level, by helping make decisions based on the biodiversity of an area and the impact of mining activities.
AI can allow companies to analyse large sets of data and find the important parts. This is particularly useful in mineral exploration, since it analyses geological information to find the parts of importance and provide better forecasts for future exploration.
3. You can make sense of data. Easily.
Companies have access to immense amounts of data. This comes from sensors, tests, and a variety of other sources. A result of this, much of the data is difficult to make sense of.
AI solves this problem.
AI devices can pick up data in real time, analyse it and make decisions based upon it. Machine learning is key in this. While AI cannot in its current state function without human intelligence, it can inform people on decisions and make conclusions faster than humans are capable of.
This doesn’t mean taking humans out of the equation. Rather, AI is designed to assist people in making better decisions.
Plus, AI can combine with technologies like blockchain to make the data permanent, transparent and decentralised. So, companies no longer have to struggle with making sense of their own data.