The development of an Industrial Vocal Assistance solution dedicated to the nuclear sector responds to the demands of the nuclear industry toincrease the productivity and competitiveness of playersin the nuclear sector, through the introduction of technologies such as “factory of the future” or “industry 4.0”.
A major effort has already been made by the nuclear industry in France to digitize, digitize and even robotize certain tasks. This effort makes it possible to improve the standardization and reliability of industrial processes. For example, the introduction of “IoT” technologies generates more structured data to provide installation monitoring, and better planning predictive maintenance interventions.
Nevertheless, the competence of the French nuclear industry still depends mainly on the skills and professionalism of its operators and field technicians. In the French nuclear industry, 2/3 of the jobs (or 133,000 jobs) are held by employees, technicians, and masters who bring together strong skills and unique industrial know-how.
In order to increase the competitiveness of the sector, a lever is therefore to improve the capabilities of these players in the field by successfully transitioning to employees, technicians and masters of the future. As in other industrial sectors, the introduction of innovative Intelligent Vocal Assistance solutions will meet this challenge.
Nevertheless, the needs and constraints of the nuclear industry lead to specific technical locks, special validation needs and demands increased security. SIMSOFT INDUSTRY is taking up this challenge with nuclear industry manufacturers to provide the industry with reliable, robust and compatible Industrial Vocal Assistance solutions that are compatible with the requirements of the field.
The development and generalization of an Interactive Vocal Assistant for the nuclear industry should enable technicians who work on production sites or in deconstruction:
A Vocal Assistant brings together a set of integrated artificial intelligence technology bricks (recognition and speech synthesis, multimodal dialoguing agent in natural language, automatic language processing, knowledge base) capable of completing a business process and integrated into an existing production or maintenance application. Its objective is of course to benefit from the power of voice in the business tools of the nuclear industry, but above all to help technicians in their tasks and increase the quantity and quality of data lifted from the ground.
The idea is to radically change the user experience of technicians, to reconcile them with their digital environment by integrating voice and intelligent business support to truly succeed in the digital transformation of the industry.
Unlike a consumer voice assistant (Google, Alexa, Siri, Xiaomi, Baïdu, …), an Industrial Vocal Assistant meets the needs of a technician, much more specific than providing weather information for example. The technician needs help because:
An industry voice assistant is made up of four major components:
An “Industrial” Vocal Assistant must also take into account the constraints of the field that are not those of the general public: factory noise, the mandatory port of EPI, absent or reduced connectivity, the security of the data collected, mobility, compatibility with existing ranges, procedures or instruction sheets, integration with existing information systems, and acceptability by operators…
The industrial characteristics of the Vocal Wizard are a discriminating factor for most solutions on the market, and its implementation requires multiple skills that go beyond a simple push of technology.
The implementation of Intelligent Vocal Assistance solutions for technicians and operators in the nuclear industry responds to a need to improve the competitiveness of the sector. The addition of Intelligent Vocal Assistance services to the software tools used by industry manufacturers will eventually help to promote their use by field operators.
In general and without precautions, the current digitalization approach does not yet bring all the expected benefits. The gains expected by nuclear industry manufacturers from the introduction of Vocal Assistance solutions for their technicians are:
These gains, once incorporated into the tools used by nuclear industry, are important competitive advantages for gaining competitiveness in today’s economic environment.
With Intelligent Vocal Assistance solutions integrated into their digital business tools, nuclear industry companies maximize the return on investment of their digital transformation, and improve their competitiveness.
Introducing a Vocal Assistance solution into existing applications will extend their context of use (technician to three meters or away from the screen) and will add various useful features to the technician to carry out his tasks.
For technicians to work effectively with the help of a Vocal Assistant, and for the Vocal Assistant to be intelligent in their work environment, it must have specific characteristics for the business applications targeted:
Vocal Assistance service components are unit interactive voice programs that allow a dialogue between a user and business applications on a topic or domain. These services are the basic bricks for developing a complete and consistent Intelligent Vocal Assistant for a technician’s work environment, depending on his or her job and the tasks he or she must perform.
Basic services exist at SIMSOFT INDUSTRY without being representative or suitable for a particular trade. They are grouped into categories:
The development, validation and implementation of this intelligent voice support solution for technicians and field operators in the nuclear industry is made possible serious in support of the French industrial recovery plan.
An AVI-TECHNUC development project will meet technical objectives and meet societal constraintsassociated with the introduction of Vocal Assistance solutions for nuclear industry technicians.
The technical objective of the AVI-TECHNUC project is to remove the technical and human locks associated with the development of a Intelligent Vocal Assistance solution for nuclear technicians and field operators, in order to respond effectively to the productivity gains demanded by the industry.
This “Intelligent” Vocal Assistant will benefit from the latest developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and in particular automatic language processing (TAL), Information Research (RI) and Knowledge Engineering (IC). The proposed project, deliberately ambitious, aims first of all to adapt these emerging AI technologies to the specifics of the nuclear field by removing a number of identified technical locks. The next step is to develop and test a prototype of Intelligent Vocale Assistance which, with a short phase of industrialization, is likely to deploy quickly for as many trades and technicians as possible while respecting the constraints of safety, security and sovereignty specific to the French nuclear industry.
Reconciliation of technicians and operators and field to digital applications deployed in the nuclear industry is an essential key to a successful transition to the industry of the future.
The introduction of a Smart Vocal Assistance solution that controls and simplifies access to the digital tools of technicians and operators will allow them to better adhere to the digitalization process that is underway in their companies.
The consumer voice assistants with whom we will interact tomorrow, with connected objects or intelligent systems will shape our own social system. The voice systems that are currently developing come mainly from the United States and China. They are in accordance with the values and social organization of the United States (SIRI, Cortana, ALEXA…) or China (TmallGenie, TingTing, XiaoAI). For example, social rules and data protection laws such as the RGPD apply differently in these countries compared to Europe. It is therefore important to develop intelligent systems, intelligent voice assistants that are compatible with social rules, personal data protection and European security.
Today, it is vital for French industry to have voice systems that are in line with its values, its social organization, and its work organization.
The relocation of entire sectors of industrial production or maintenance, in the nuclear sector as well as in other fields, is part of the industrial roadmap for the coming years. This re-industrialisation of Europe will take place if the workforce is more efficient, generates better results, allows for a faster upscaling than subcontractors located in low-cost countries.
With this project, SIMSOFT INDUSTRY will be able to offer more industrialists Vocale Assistance solutions for optimizing the cost of working hands in the euro area. The competitiveness of nuclear deconstruction industrialists is a major axis for the French sector. This competitiveness will create many skilled jobs in France in the years to come.