MX Workmate claims to be the first adaptation of Generative AI Large Language Model technology for operational environments.

Scott Bicheno

February 14, 2024

2 Min Read
source: nokia

There are a lot of abbreviations and in-the-weeds terms used in the Nokia press release announcing this latest addition to its MX Industrial Edge offering. But, in essence, this is a way of making the generative AI cleverness that has been the talk of the town for the past year suitable for operational technology (OT) environments.

Much of the talk around GenAI in a telecoms context concerns making it useful for the industry’s unique needs. Off-the-shelf LLMs are not industry-specific, so they need to be ‘taught’ with more bespoke information if they’re to be used in niche environments. In this case, the emphasis seems to be on contextually relevant real-time information, as well as the extra robustness and security required for mission-critical use-cases. There’s also talk of it helping to compensate for the eternal ‘skills gap’.

“AI is a key element of industrial transformation,” said Stephan Litjens, VP of Enterprise Solutions at Nokia. “MX Workmate leverages the combined benefits of our One platform for business-critical wireless connectivity with OT compliant on-prem 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 is a great opportunity for enterprises eager to advance their digitalization strategy but face challenges due to the gap in workforce expertise.”

“Since 2023, the enterprise market has shown continued interest in generative AI adoption,” said  Reece Hayden, Analyst at ABI Research, in the press release. “Manufacturers are no different; many are looking to invest in solutions that reduce costs or unlock new revenue opportunities. However, strict operational technology (OT) requirements have, so far, slowed deployments on the production floor.

“Nokia MX Workmate is the first Gen AI solution designed for production floors that effectively addresses many of these challenges. It 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 that this will offer tangible time savings for employees presenting deployers with significant cost optimization and safety opportunities.”

It's interesting that, at this stage, there was no mention of augmented reality. In the, so far, largely futile search for the 5G ‘killer app’ AR has often been flagged up as a use-case. Clearly, some kind of AR goggles that display the sort of GenAI-infused, context-specific information that MX Workmate promises would be very useful. Maybe Nokia is sensibly taking things one step at a time instead of over-promising utopian applications. If so, other marketing departments should take note.

About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of Telecoms.com, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Telecoms.com Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Telecoms.com Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

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