AI & Blockchain Technology

Artificial Intelligence

AI -picture-1


Artificial Intelligence (AI), sometimes called machine intelligence, is intelligence demonstrated by machines, unlike the natural intelligence displayed by humans and animals. Leading AI textbooks define the field as the study of “intelligent agents“: any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals.[1] Colloquially, the term “artificial intelligence” is often used to describe machines (or computers) that mimic “cognitive” functions that humans associate with the human mind, such as “learning” and “problem solving”.[2]

Mining is an important industrial and economic sector that plays a major role in the economic development of a country and provides many employment opportunities. Implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, and autonomous technologies in the mining industry started about a decade ago with the first application to autonomous trucks. The autonomous technologies provide many economic benefits to the mining industry through cost reduction, productivity improvement, reduction in exposure of workers to hazardous conditions, continuous production, and improved safety. However, implementation of this technology has faced economic, financial, technological, workforce, and social challenges. This paper discusses the current status of AI, machine learning, and autonomous technologies implementation in the mining industry, challenges resulting from these technologies, strategies to overcome these challenges, and questions for future research.

Blockchain Technology

blockchain,[1][2][3] originally block chain,[4][5] is a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked using cryptography.[1][6] Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block,[6] a timestamp, and transaction data (generally represented as a Merkle tree).

By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data. It is “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”.[7] For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for inter-node communication and validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires consensus of the network majority. Although blockchain records are not unalterable, blockchains may be considered secure by design and exemplify a distributed computing system with high Byzantine fault toleranceDecentralized consensus has therefore been claimed with a blockchain.[8]