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A.I. is going to play a big role at mining powerhouse BHP

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Key Points
  • Our lives are becoming increasingly intertwined with smart, sophisticated technology, and the mining sector is no different. 
  • Mining business BHP is embracing a number of technologies in order to move with the times.
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Here's why AI has a big role in the future of mining

From voice-activated lights to watches that analyze the way we sleep, our lives are becoming increasingly intertwined with smart, sophisticated technology.

The mining sector is no different, with a raft of innovations helping to drive change and transform the way that some of the sector’s big players operate.

Although mining business BHP can trace its roots back to the mid-19th century, it is embracing a number of technologies in order to move with the times. These include “smart caps” that use technology to analyze brain waves so as to monitor worker fatigue, to autonomous trucks.

Marie Bourgoin is general manager for Integrated Production and Remote Operations at BHP. She highlighted artificial intelligence (AI) as one area of interest and potential, describing it as “the art of transforming a large amount of data into business intelligence, so that teams can make better, smarter and faster decisions.”

CNBC’s Didi Akinyelure asked her what the future held for innovation at BHP. “Without a crystal ball, it’s very difficult to predict,” Bourgoin said, before going on to state that change was the only constant. 

“We are very agile and remain abreast of all the technology and the innovation that is out there and what it has to offer, and how we apply it to actually solve complex problems and unlock more long-term, sustainable value for our shareholders.”

She added that AI would continue to be at the forefront of, among other things, planning and optimizing scheduling. More broadly, innovation would enable the business to look differently at how it did things, “from extraction to processing to our logistics supply chain.”

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