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Mining Agenda: Miners seek 'robots in the wild'

Accenture's Ann Burns delves into details of the Tech Vision 2020 survey

Ngaire McDiarmid

A dilemma, artificial intelligence and robots unleashed are among the themes identified in Accenture's 20th annual report on technology trends.

Tech Vision 2020 included a global survey of more than 6,000 executives from 21 industries, with Accenture's resources industry lead for Australia and New Zealand Ann Burns highlighting some of the results from the mining sector for Mining Journal.

The five overall key trends were:

  • The I in Experience
  • AI and Me
  • The Dilemma of Smart Things
  • Robots in the Wild; and
  • Innovation DNA.

Among the strong responses from mining and metals respondents, 89% believed that to compete in a post-digital world, organisations needed to elevate their relationships with customers as partners.

In terms of artificial intelligence, 84% - compared with 79% globally - said collaboration between humans and machines would be critical to innovation in the future.

However only 29% of metals and mining organisations reported they were preparing their workforce for collaborative, interactive and explainable AI-based systems, although this was a higher than 23% globally.

As for the dilemma of smart things, 72% of metals and mining executives said their organisation's connected products and services would have more, or significantly more, updates over the next three years.

Almost two-thirds - 63% - of metals and mining executives believed rapid advancements in new technologies and scientific innovations were poised to disrupt their industry, compared with 56% globally.

Some 77% believed the stakes for innovation had never been higher.

In the podcast, Burns reveals the biggest challenges identified by mining executives - plus their take on robotics, and how well their employees will cope.

"This year, I think, is a very interesting start to a new decade," she said.

"I'm very encouraged by the pivotal point we're at, at the start of 2020."

On the line this week...

Ann Burns, Accenture

Ann Burns,
Accenture resources lead
Ann Burns leads Accenture's resources team for Australia and New Zealand. She joined the global management, consulting and professional services firm more than 20 years ago. She's worked with a diverse range of clients across Asia Pacific and says her real passion is in finding answers to the challenging questions that digital is asking. Prior to joining Accenture, Burns practised as an architect and worked in construction and international business development.

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