Chat GPT’s AI evolution in manufacturing

RRC International’s Richard Stockley discusses the impact ChatGPT will have on the manufacturing industry - from e-learning to Health and Safety training

Manufacturing is the backbone of the global economy. As with all foundational industries, occupational health and safety is critical for manufacturing. RRC International has been working with manufacturers all around the world for decades to improve their health and safety skills and knowledge, and therefore reduce incidents and accidents.

Richard Stockley is the Managing Director at RRC International, which provides Health & Safety and Environmental Management training and consultancy to a huge range of different industries, delivering courses approved by NEBOSH, IOSH, IEMA and CITB.

“We’re among the most popular health and safety training companies in the world,” said Stockley. “We were established in 1928 and have been delivering vocational training ever since. We’ve delivered occupational health and safety training for over 45 years of that extensive history. We’re proud to have trained more than 60,000 people in nearly every country in the world.”

Richard Stockley, Managing Director at RRC International.

Richard Stockley, Managing Director at RRC International.

Shaping manufacturing's future through AI-enhanced learning 

With AI being introduced into health and safety learning and education, Stockley expects to see changes to the manufacturing industry.

“Machine learning has been used in e-learning for quite a while now. Apps use this lower level of AI to tailor the learning experience for individual users. In the same way the Duolingo works for language learners, machine learning can provide basic scripted feedback in response to common mistakes and, to a degree, create personalised pathways based on user performance,” he said. “The limitation here is that e-learning is relatively static. The feedback it gives is pre-written, it can’t adapt to every individual need and deliver the completely custom feedback that a human teacher in a classroom could give to an individual learner.”

A Large Language Model (LLM), like ChatGPT, could bridge the gap between e-learning and classroom learning. 

“We talk about this in terms of e-learning going from a monologue to a dialogue; applications powered by Generative AI (GenAI) can give personalised and contextual feedback. The user could also ask further questions and the app can clarify, like a human teacher.”

Stockley believes that the potential impact could be greatly improved learning on the job. If deployed well, the transfer of knowledge will be higher quality, like that delivered in a classroom, but with the cost benefits not dissimilar to e-learning. 

“Using GenAI in health and safety training can improve the transfer of learning to the job, creating training activities and simulated learning experiences. This means fewer incidents, accidents and ill health in the workplace.

“Outside of training, the manufacturing industry is actively looking at how GenAI can assist with wider workforce development. One of the biggest challenges is the tacit knowledge and know-how accumulated by highly experienced operators in manufacturing. The industry faces a similar challenge to the oil and gas industry - brain drain. Typically, these experts play a vital role in developing SOPs, resources and training that is followed by less experienced workers. The dilemma, as with oil and gas, is that these experts are retiring faster than new ones can be created. GenAI can help with this challenge by automating the generation of SOP guides, resources and training materials.”

Due to the cost-effective adaptability of GenAI, Stockley expects to see a huge rise in the number of learning modules for very specific manufacturing tasks in the next year. 

“We hope that will result in improved learning, but the likelihood is there will also be a lot of poorly generated content,” said Stockley. “GenAI has great potential, but it needs to be deployed with attention to detail and focus.”


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