In the new world of digitised and automated mining that is headed towards increased dependence on AI to solve problems and facilitate complex processes, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) School of Mining Engineering Professor Fred Cawood has warned against an overreliance on such technologies without human checks and balances in place. “If you find yourself in a space where you can’t perform a certain activity, you will have to get the experts to help you because we can get it seriously wrong with automation if we do not understand the risks involved. So, thou shalt not automate that which thou cannot do thyself,” he said at the Mind Shift conference hosted by Mine Equipment Manufacturers of South Africa, in Sandton, on May 16.