Emerging technologies and impacts

How do we balance the benefits of emerging technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence and automation) with their impacts on workers and communities?

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KKettle 's picture
Apr 17, 2018 - 13:54

Communication with communities needs to occur so that everyone is in the loop about how the future of work is changing. Many communities might not be aware that mining (along with many other sectors) is moving towards more AI and automation. No one wants to be blindsighted so we need to keep everyone in the loop about emerging technologies and changes in the sectors so that all can be prepared for the change.

We need to create more training and upskilling opportunities for workers and people in these remote mining communities. The option for upskilling needs to be there, whether it's skills to continue work in mining or opportunities to learn alternative skills to help find new employment.

Basic computer literacy and coding skills are going to be important but we have to make sure these areas have access to internet and computers to begin with...

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Anonymous's picture
May 2, 2018 - 11:36

But how do we create more training and upskilling opportunities in those remote mining communities. Perhaps a traveling group of experts that would go to all these communities? or do we provide funds for mining workers to come to urban areas for the training?

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annos's picture
Jun 19, 2018 - 08:10

Training should accommodate distance learning. We are doing it now, should not be a problem.

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annos's picture
Jun 19, 2018 - 08:09

I agree. The education system needs to tailor the next batch of grads, and going forward, on remote control, automation and machine learning technology. People need to set the criteria, manage and develop these emerging/new technologies.

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thenorth's picture
May 1, 2018 - 20:43

The federal government needs to lead on researching this issue. Just how much will automation and advanced technology actually effect the workforce and when will this occur? Australia already has driver-less trucks at some of their mine sites, has this impacted their workforce? If they're ahead of the game we need to watch them closely to be prepared, so we're not left with many skilled workers looking for jobs.
On the flip side, new technologies present new opportunities. If Canada can lead on the development of new technology in the mining sector and become a global leader this will create diverse jobs and new avenues.

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TheMiningLegend's picture
May 2, 2018 - 11:28

I think one thing governments can do to offset the impact of emerging technologies is to encourage education paths into things such as computer programming, electrical engineering and robotics to name a few. With increasing automation there will be a bigger need for professions that create and repair those systems. Currently the education system is not prepared for this change. Despite being outside the purview of Natural Resources Ministries, this is something provincial governments could use to influence education ministries.

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Concerned's picture
May 2, 2018 - 13:23

The challenge with remote operation of mining equipment will be the potential for off-shoring of this service to a country with lots of PhD's and comparatively very low salaries and other associated costs. This is especially likely given the fact that so most of the large mining companies are multi-nationals with a sharp eye on the bottom line.

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anonymous's picture
Jun 19, 2018 - 08:06

Not exactly, you would need a pretty impressive network to accomplish the "off-shoring" of mine operators. There are companies who have allowed the "off-shoring" from a fly-in-fly-out camp to a local/nearest city. This allows the operators to go to their families at the end of the shift, eliminates the need for hospitality on a remote base. This alone reduces costs. You will always need someone on site at the end of the day. Your theory won't be applicable for another 8-10 years.

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Breccia's picture
May 3, 2018 - 10:25

Data must be actionable to gain insights from it. Similar to targeted ads we see in on line applications, it must be integrated into business processes with continuous intake of fresh data. The collective data and knowledge of governments should be using cloud computing and AI models to address user driven questions (e.g. predictive analytics, insights around geoscience, visualizations in real time, market analysis, innovative breakthroughs), with insight/intelligence focused research centres to support this.

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