Home > Counties > Artificial Intelligent ‘man’ has finally met artisanal and small scale gold miners in Transmara

Artificial Intelligent ‘man’ has finally met artisanal and small scale gold miners in Transmara

Artificial Intelligence, which has become a game changer in the world of technology across the globe, has finally met small-scale gold diggers in Lolgorian ward, Transmara South Sub County, and Narok County.

The Artificial Intelligent ‘man’ dubbed Dr. Mining Manhattan AI has elicited excitement among the artisans and small scale gold miners as the move is expected to help solve a myriad of challenges that have bedeviled the sector for a long time.

Dr. Mining Manhattan pilot program, that marks a pioneering initiative, is the brainchild of an experienced miner and visionary Matt Hales, who has been working with the community for six years since 2017.

According to Hales, who is a Co-chair of the Global Community Miners Forum, the new concept is a conversation robot, which is bound to bring expert guidance to the fingertips of miners through a question-and-answer model in social media networks including WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook messages, among others.

Hales describes Dr. Manhattan as very intelligent, able to speak over 105 languages and responds to voice conversations when giving solutions.

He says Dr. Mining Manhattan, which took five months to create is not just a tool, but a catalyst for change, where every miner will join in and gather information on better and safer mining processes.

He notes that frequent communication with the tool will help shape its future by enabling the AI to grow smarter and more attuned with Miners needs, with each query answered and each piece of advice given from the area that is not fully exploited.

This, he says, will render the tool a mentorship type of technology.

Hales says that running the program is quite expensive and to sustain it they were looking for sponsorship from well-wishers organisations.

To him, the venture is helping create a living, learning hub of mining wisdom that will echo in the tunnels and pits of mines worldwide, fostering a safer, more prosperous future for the mining community.

If successful, Dr. Mining Manhattan’s project has potential to transform livelihoods of 45 million artisanal and small scales miners in over 80 countries across the globe, once it is rolled out.

Hales notes that the affiliated local Farmers of Gold association are partnering with the Global Community Miners Forum, which was started last year, and Artisanal Small Scale Miners Association of Kenya (ASMAK), among others, to ensure the success of this pilot program before it is extended to Indonesia in the next phase.

Urging all to test Dr. Manhattan by messaging on WhatsApp to +254-703179958 and allowing it up to1 minute to reply, Hales notes that Dr. Manhattan was still undergoing creation and therefore may have occasional hitches.

The concept for Dr. Manhattan was conceived following Hales’ early recognition of the potential in chat GPT technologies last year.

He says the name came from a movie he had watched called ‘The Watchman’, where there was a very intelligent character who was able to know everything and be omnipresent at the same time.

This, he says is what is intended for Dr. Manhattan, who is expected to interact with miners in all social media platforms, on mobile phones or cyber cafes.

On challenges, Hales notes that few of them are envisioned because the venture aligns with the goals of the GCMF and all legal requirements in mining industry in Kenya, and therefore setting a precedent for future advancements.

However, he says they are in the process of collecting the most accurate data, as not all data on mining was in the internet yet. To him, the program is using customs data, which makes Dr. Manhattan slow to respond.

One miner, Lilian Achieng, who has been in the industry for 10 years now, says the job has helped her feed and educate her children.

She foresees this ‘Doctor’ giving ample education in best mining practices including the best technology and how to overcome challenges, some of which lead to health hazards.

National Chairman of ASMAK Dan Odida applauded the innovation saying it demonstrated there are other ways of approaching gold mining.

Odida says most miners and partners have previously incurred losses for lack of information, which Dr. Manhattan has come to solve in line with policies and regulations by relevant bodies.

Odida expresses optimism it will be developed further to meet the needs of those engaged in the sector.

He cites various counties that have active mining and which stand to benefit from the great volume of data including Taita Taveta, Kwale, Migori, Narok, Turkana, Kisii, Kakamega and Nyamira among eleven others that are affiliated to ASMAK.

Odida says Kenya boasts of over 1.5 million population that is directly and indirectly involved in mining, with Migori having over 12,000 people, especially in Nyatike area.

On the internet connectivity, ICT expert Calvin Ochieng urges those without smart phones to visit cyber cafes for assistance.

He also appeals to the government to install working free wifi in all market centres as envisioned in the Kenya Kwanza Manifesto, to assist miners develop themselves and the whole country.

However, says Hales, for total success of the program all stakeholders must play their part. Key stakeholders include the miners themselves, tech developers, ASM associations and potentially government bodies.

The contributions range from proper utilization of the tool, ensuring internet connectivity, and giving feedback for improvement of the tool to ensure it meets the specific needs of the mining community.

He says the Kenyan government can assist by providing verified data on legal mining operations, which is crucial for scaling the pilot program and creation of enabling environment for the activities.

By Jane Naitore and Jefferson Volka

Leave a Reply