Nokia intros first OT-compliant GenAI service for connected workers

The past few years have seen organisations worldwide face skilled labour shortages threatening productivity, and while the effective use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools – in particular generative AI (GenAI) – can alleviate some of the HR crunch while boosting current employee capabilities, Nokia has launched a suite of GenAI operational technology (OT)-compliant tools, MX Workmate, to ease interaction between workers and systems, as well as drive efficiency, productivity and worker safety.

Putting the launch into perspective, a survey by global organisational consulting firm Korn Ferry predicts a deficit of 85 million skilled tech workers globally by 2030, which could potentially total $8.5tn of lost revenue. Current GenAI large language model (LLM) offerings are not universally compliant with stringent OT requirements, including reliability, availability, security and data sovereignty.

“Since 2023, the enterprise market has shown continued interest in generative AI adoption,” said Reece Hayden, senior analyst at ABI Research. “Manufacturers are no different; many are looking to invest in solutions that reduce costs or unlock new revenue opportunities.

“However, strict operational technology requirements have, so far, slowed deployments on the production floor,” he said. “Nokia MX Workmate is the first GenAI solution designed for production floors that effectively addresses many of these challenges.

“[MX Workmate] provides contextually relevant and real-time information exchange between connected workers and complicated OT-systems in a secure and reliable way, using natural human language. ABI Research expects this will offer tangible time savings for employees presenting deployers with significant cost optimisation and safety opportunities.”

MX Workmate is fundamentally designed to make it easier for industrial workers to interact with machines, adapting GenAI LLM technologies to OT environments and generate contextual, human-like language content based on real-time OT data. This is intended to enable workers to understand complex machines and get real-time status information, and allow industries to achieve greater flexibility, productivity and sustainability, as well as improve worker safety.

It also onboards all enablers to the Nokia OT-compliant on-premise edge compute service, MX Industrial Edge (MXIE). It integrates techniques such as AI hallucination elimination while running parallel LLMs, and offers APIs to communicate with applications that will provide the OT data needed. Using Nokia Team Comms, workers will be able to query the assistant, and it will send real-time contextual information to connected workers packaged into messages that are said to be easy to understand using natural human language.

The service will also integrate AI auditing capabilities, ensuring adherence to OT standards using real-time insights and automated, supported analytics capabilities to streamline workflows and avoid costly errors.

This new man-to/from-machine communication utilising natural language processing can assist workers on factory floors to receive real-time information about production status, volume, and quality and recommendation on how to improve these key performance indicators.

Real-time data evaluation-based early warnings can serve preventive maintenance needs to avoid major machine failures, thus minimising downtime. Continuous risk evaluation also ensures relevant safety instructions are promptly delivered to workers in case of emergency.

“AI is a key element of industrial transformation,” said Stephan Litjens, vice-president of enterprise solutions at Nokia. “MX Workmate leverages the combined benefits of our One platform for business-critical wireless connectivity with OT compliant on-premise compute edge for I4.0 applications and worker devices.

“MX Workmate Generative AI LLM capabilities will change the OT environment, enabling industries to enhance their teams’ skills to improve efficiency, increase productivity and fully integrate IT/OT operations. It’s a great opportunity for enterprises eager to advance their digitisation strategy that face challenges due to the gap in workforce expertise.”

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