Generative AI Will Shape Industry 5.0, Predicts AVEVA’s Global AI Head Jim Chappell
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In an exclusive interview with Metaverse Post — Jim Chappell, the Global Head of AI and Advanced Analytics at AVEVA, discussed the transformative impact of AI on various industrial sectors.
AVEVA’s Connect Industrial AI Assistant aims to tackle industrial use cases by harnessing language models developed in collaboration with Microsoft.
In an era characterized by swift technological advancement, artificial intelligence (AI) stands out as a revolutionary force transforming global industries and societies. Among the facets of AI, generative AI models such as GPT have garnered attention for their capacity to produce text resembling human language, encompassing both creative narratives and functional code.
The evolution of these models signifies a significant milestone in the progression of industrial technologies – from 4.0 towards 5.0, heralding a new era rife with opportunities for businesses, economies and humanity as a whole.
Generative artificial intelligence (AI) models like GPT have become transformative tools spanning diverse industries, marking the onset of Industry 5.0. These AI systems have notably enhanced communication and problems solving, augmenting efficiency and productivity across fields, including industrial services, IT and healthcare.
In an exclusive interview with Metaverse Post — Jim Chappell, the Global Head of AI and Advanced Analytics at AVEVA, discussed the transformative impact of AI on various industrial sectors. Chappell highlighted the seamless integration of generative AI into business operations, yielding a wide array of solutions that serve global industries.
AVEVA, a seasoned player in the realm of AI, has actively embraced AI and predictive analytics for more than two decades. In contrast to companies adopting AI merely for the sake of staying at the forefront, AVEVA’s approach is firmly rooted in addressing tangible industrial challenges.
Over the last few years, the company has introduced 17 commercial AI solutions, with numerous others in development. Notably, among the forthcoming solutions is AVEVA’s Connect Industrial AI Assistant, an innovative tool poised to tackle industrial use cases by harnessing language models developed in collaboration with Microsoft, and a spectrum of machine learning models.
“As time progresses, AI will continually enhance its intelligence, gaining access to a wealth of knowledge and information through large language models. Generative AI will extend its capabilities to encompass engineering data, maintenance data and beyond,” Chappell told Metaverse Post. “Our latest generative AI solution is adept at identifying potential resolutions for intricate industrial inquiries, offering responses in natural language.”
Leveraging Generative AI for Complex Industrial Challenges
AVEVA’s Chappell said the new platform enables a seamless transition to the cloud. It eliminates the need for establishing hierarchies and data relationships manually by automatically identifying relationships within industrial data. He believes this simplifies the onboarding process, allowing companies to harness cloud capabilities immediately.
AVEVA’s AI assistant can answer complex questions and break down the search process into manageable steps, retrieving information from engineering, maintenance, performance and other data sources. This empowers businesses to obtain a comprehensive overview of their operations, identify issues, and find solutions, all in a natural language format.
AVEVA Connect Industrial AI Assistant is already available for commercial use, with general release scheduled for early 2024. The AI assistant aims to streamline operations and enhance decision-making in industries.
Diving deep upon the technology behind AVEVA’s AI solutions, Chappell delved upon the company’s partnership with Microsoft.
Microsoft’s cloud platform serves as the foundational layer for AVEVA’s AI solutions, providing the necessary infrastructure and data centers. The new AI platform utilizes Microsoft’s GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) and employs various AI models to provide a unified analytics source.
Chappell asserts that while these AI solutions have the potential to be versatile, AVEVA tailors them to focus on the specific domain and data of their industrial customers.
“When you ask a highly specific query rooted in your industry, the outcomes have proven notably precise. The model has been meticulously trained on data specific to that domain. As a result, the responses generated by the extensive language model are exceptionally targeted, reflecting our deep domain focus and the nature of the data in our inquiries,” explained Chappell. “The data type is intricately linked to this process, dynamically forging connections in the background. There’s no immediate necessity for an established hierarchy to initiate the process. Instead, it assembles a hybrid semantic search system. This involves executing natural language queries with keywords. Concurrently, it constructs an underlying relational database, harnessing it to retrieve relevant information effectively.”
The platform’s language model serves as the central point for information retrieval. The data could reside within the data hub or engineering database, containing a wide range of resources, such as piping and instrumentation diagrams, 3D models, documents or other relevant data.
“Guided by the generative AI’s instructions, our system identifies precise data sources for extraction. In response, the system launches a series of queries, employing extensive language model to interface with our customer systems,” Chappell explained.
What’s Next for Industrial AI?
Looking to the future of industrial AI, Chappell sees generative AI playing a pivotal role. He said that as AI systems gain access to more extensive knowledge bases through large language models, they will increasingly assist in creating dashboards, visualizations, reports and more.
Moreover, he asserts that AI will become more objective-driven, allowing users to ask complex questions, optimizing processes and improving decision-making.
AVEVA’s Chappell believes that generative AI is a big advantage for citizen developers and executives, who can leverage its capabilities to generate a dashboard in an instant. He believes that low code developments will complement AI, allowing even those without programming expertise to leverage AI capabilities. Additionally, AI can help in the development of low-code and no-code solutions, forming a symbiotic relationship between the two technologies.
“You can instruct generative AI engines to generate code on your behalf, while also enabling them to continuously interact with connected models, thereby expanding their sophistication. The integration of low-code and no-code approaches with AI will lay the foundation for Industry 5.0,” he added. “AI will work alongside humans, enabling them to take a more supervisory role.”
Regarding the ongoing concerns about AI taking over jobs, Chappell acknowledged the shift in job landscapes. He believes that AI will lead to the creation of new jobs, ultimately resulting in a net increase in employment opportunities.
“While some jobs may evolve or become redundant, new roles will emerge. Adaptability, learning and re-skilling will be essential in navigating this changing technology job market,” said Chappell.
Looking ahead, he said that AVEVA plans to expand its AI capabilities by combining multiple types of AI, including machine learning, deep learning, reinforcement learning and generative AI. By creating more sophisticated AI systems that can address a broader range of problems, AVEVA aims to provide enhanced solutions for its customers, to lead in the AI-driven industrial landscape.
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