May 19, 2020

[VIDEO] How will the Internet of Things impact Australian mining manufacturers?

Internet of Things
Dino Angelov
2 min
[VIDEO] How will the Internet of Things impact Australian mining manufacturers?

Imagine a mining industry where miners and manufacturers have complete insight into their machinery and operations. Predictive maintenance? Locating and streamlining areas of productivity improvement in operations?

With the Internet of Things, it won’t be a problem.

The Internet of Things (loT) is expected to become a major component to the next generation of mining, and manufacturing is likely to be a large part of this. By 2020, approximately 26 billion objects will be linked together by the lnternet of Things.

For Australian mining manufacturers, the need for loT is imperative as the region has been hit hard by falling commodity prices and increasing operational costs. Recent research suggests most manufacturers believe the loT will have a positive impact on their business, however, the majority do not have a plan set in place.

Related content: Is mining entering the world of mass media?

According to Mining Global, mining equipment company Joy Global has already jumped on the bandwagon, joining forces with Boston-based software company PTC to equip its operations center with PTC software to monitor maintenance needs, environmental metrics and safety conditions deep underground.

The platform has enabled Joy Global to optimize their remote monitoring and analytics processes around connected devices, allowing them to:

• Anticipate failures

• Efficiently respond to equipment problems reducing equipment downtime

• Reduce the cost of mining resources

• Improve the safety of the site and human capital

• Optimize mining production

“It lets our customers focus on things that could take the system down,” said Joy Global President Ted Doheny. “They get so much data already, that it’s turning data into spam. This [software] turns data into information.”

Doheny adds, “We are taking a significant amount of data off a longwall. We have over 7,000 sensors in a longwall so the data is very, very important, but most importantly is turning the data into information into results: how can we save money, produce more for less?”

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Jun 17, 2021

Chinese Firm Taigusys Launches Emotion-Recognition System

3 min
Critics claim that new AI emotion-recognition platforms like Taigusys could infringe on Chinese citizens’ rights ─ Taigusys disagrees

In a detailed investigative report, the Guardian reported that Chinese tech company Taigusys can now monitor facial expressions. The company claims that it can track fake smiles, chart genuine emotions, and help police curtail security threats. ‘Ordinary people here in China aren’t happy about this technology, but they have no choice. If the police say there have to be cameras in a community, people will just have to live with it’, said Chen Wei, company founder and chairman. ‘There’s always that demand, and we’re here to fulfil it’. 


Who Will Use the Data? 

As of right now, the emotion-recognition market is supposed to be worth US$36bn by 2023—which hints at rapid global adoption. Taigusys counts Huawei, China Mobile, China Unicom, and PetroChina among its 36 clients, but none of them has yet revealed if they’ve purchased the new AI. In addition, Taigusys will likely implement the technology in Chinese prisons, schools, and nursing homes.


It’s not likely that emotion-recognition AI will stay within the realm of private enterprise. President Xi Jinping has promoted ‘positive energy’ among citizens and intimated that negative expressions are no good for a healthy society. If the Chinese central government continues to gain control over private companies’ tech data, national officials could use emotional data for ideological purposes—and target ‘unhappy’ or ‘suspicious’ citizens. 


How Does It Work? 

Taigusys’s AI will track facial muscle movements, body motions, and other biometric data to infer how a person is feeling, collecting massive amounts of personal data for machine learning purposes. If an individual displays too much negative emotion, the platform can recommend him or her for what’s termed ‘emotional support’—and what may end up being much worse. 


Can We Really Detect Human Emotions? 

This is still up for debate, but many critics say no. Psychologists still debate whether human emotions can be separated into basic emotions such as fear, joy, and surprise across cultures or whether something more complex is at stake. Many claim that AI emotion-reading technology is not only unethical but inaccurate since facial expressions don’t necessarily indicate someone’s true emotional state. 


In addition, Taigusys’s facial tracking system could promote racial bias. One of the company’s systems classes faces as ‘yellow, white, or black’; another distinguishes between Uyghur and Han Chinese; and sometimes, the technology picks up certain ethnic features better than others. 


Is China the Only One? 

Not a chance. Other countries have also tried to decode and use emotions. In 2007, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) launched a heavily contested training programme (SPOT) that taught airport personnel to monitor passengers for signs of stress, deception, and fear. But China as a nation rarely discusses bias, and as a result, its AI-based discrimination could be more dangerous. 


‘That Chinese conceptions of race are going to be built into technology and exported to other parts of the world is troubling, particularly since there isn’t the kind of critical discourse [about racism and ethnicity in China] that we’re having in the United States’, said Shazeda Ahmed, an AI researcher at New York University (NYU)


Taigusys’s founder points out, on the other hand, that its system can help prevent tragic violence, citing a 2020 stabbing of 41 people in Guangxi Province. Yet top academics remain unconvinced. As Sandra Wachter, associate professor and senior research fellow at the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute, said: ‘[If this continues], we will see a clash with fundamental human rights, such as free expression and the right to privacy’. 


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