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Index Perspective: Technology for Empowering Workforce Development

One of the most engaging sessions at eChemExpo 2024 was the panel on “Empowering Workforce Development: Unleashing New Technology with the Power of Artificial Intelligence (AI).”

Index was there, joining a select group of industry leaders participating in the thought-provoking panel, which moderator Bryan Shackelford of Eastman Chemical called and an eChemExpo first. Zach Korkowski, Senior Project Manager at Index took the panel stage alongside executives from AVEVA, Valmet and Eastman.

AI and its application for so many industries are all the rage in the media, and for good reason.

Sean Gregerson, Head of AVEVA’s Asset Performance Management Software Business, said during the panel discussion that companies will have to leverage AI technologies to remain competitive. “Companies that leverage these technologies are going to be more productive in their approach to business and more profitable.”

Yet many suggest that challenges exist, and for training and workforce development, resources may be better spent implementing other types of technology and best-practice processes.

For its part, Index eBooks and mobile apps are examples of practical, next-generation technologies that are delivering real value and results for workforce development today in dozens of implementations across the country.

Korkowski, who has spent several years managing content creation projects, acknowledged that AI is a tool that can help workers. “But it really is only as good as the information you feed it,” he said.

Nathalia Leme, Industrial Internet Manager at Valmet, echoed Korkowski’s sentiment during the panel. “I think this still will require a lot of validation,” she said. “The industry needs to make sure that their AI is making the right decisions and going in the right path.”

Index and its clients have found tremendous value in creating multi-modal digital training content that is well vetted, accurate and tailored to each client’s needs. A key part of the company’s methodology for creating the content includes getting a client’s subject matter experts on camera to demonstrate a task, explain a company process or share anecdotal stories.

The Index way is a recipe for success and authenticity that is difficult for AI to replicate, especially where safety is paramount. As Korkowski explained during the panel discussion, Index establishes “the ground truth of data information processes that the workers need to have in place” so they can perform their work safely, properly, and efficiently.

The eChemExpo also discussed how training workers on using AI themselves will be critical in the coming months and years. Korkowski indicated that the right training will be key to AI adoption, suggesting that companies will need to understand how to “dial in” the information that workers need and to take an iterative approach for optimal results.

Ultimately, Korkowski suggested, AI should be all about making workers more efficient. If AI tool fails to accomplish that, “the system will break, whatever system you’re a part of,” Korkowski said.

For the full recap on the panel discussion, visit the eChemExpo Applied Innovation blog.