Artificial intelligence and machine learning revolutionize the marble sector


Automated sorting of marble tiles using advanced technology

In recent years, global technology has made great strides in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Machines learn from experience, adjust to new inputs, perform human tasks and mimic human knowledge.

In the marble sector, tile sorting has always been a critical process. By incorporating AI and Machine Learning into the production line, tile-sorting becomes an automated process, enhancing efficiency in the smartest, quickest and most productive way possible.

What are Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning?

Artificial Intelligence is the field of computer science dealing with the design and application of computerized systems that mimic elements of human behavior. Machines learn from past experience, adjust to new inputs and handle tasks previously performed exclusively by humans. Whereas artificial intelligence is the science that mimics human behavior, Machine Learning is the subset of AI that trains a machine how to learn. It is premised on the idea that systems can automatically learn from inputs, identify patterns and make decisions with minimal human intervention. Machine learning allows users to make better predictions and get reliable outcomes.

The history of AI

In 1950, British mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing proposed the so-called Turing test, an attempt to test if a machine has genuine cognitive abilities and is able to think like a human. The term was first adopted in 1956 at the Dartmouth scientific conference. In 1959, Arthur Samuel coined the term “machine learning”. A few years later, Geoffrey Hinton, already renowned for his work on artificial neural networks, designed machine learning algorithms. His goal was to develop a learning process that would lead to the creation of complex structures based on large volumes of data, proving that this is also how the human brain learns.
Today, AI is known primarily thanks to the relentlessly increasing volume of data, the development of advanced algorithms and the major advances taking place in computer science.

AI benefits

Some of the major benefits of AI include:

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved production quality
  • Steady production flow
  • Elimination of human error
  • Savings in time thanks to task classification and automation
  • Reliable, precise performance of high-volume tasks, eliminating the factors of fatigue and human impact.

AI Applications

Artificial Intelligence has already transformed our everyday lives. Smartphones, chatbots, smart cars and platforms such as Youtube, Spotify and Netflix use AI to make content recommendations to users based on their previous choices.

AI’s applications are also remarkable in other fields, including medicine, the pharmaceutical and car industries, banking, as well as in a variety of industrial sectors, including marble manufacturing.

AI application in the marble sector

The following infographic describes the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the sorting process of marble tiles.

Meet the first Automated Tile Sorting Machine in the world

Stone Group International’s daily operations feature Geoffrey, an Automated Tile Sorting Machine. A global innovation created in collaboration with Greek company D-cube, the automated tile sorting machine uses AI and machine learning to identify easily and with precision all potential defects in Thassos Snow White, Volakas and Elba Blue marble tiles, sorting them out accordingly. Geoffrey’s success rate is already 92% and is expected to eventually reach 95%, whereas a human worker, in the best-case scenario, can only achieve a rate of 73%. Moreover, the automated sorting machine is not adversely influenced by factors such as lighting conditions or fatigue.

Upon being sorted, the tiles move on to the final packaging stage, while all data are registered automatically in the SAP-ERP system. In the near future, our clients will be able to scan each and every palette delivered to them, see the details of each individual tile and express their interest in specific palettes. On our part, we will be able to monitor production and packaging in real time.

And this is only the beginning. Geoffrey is already in the process of learning more types of Greek marble.

In this video you can see the Automated Tile Sorting Machine in action.

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