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Will artificial intelligence make Gemologists and Jewellery Valuers redundant?

Yelena

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Aug 7, 2019
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408
Hi All,

I have read a few articles on Artificial Intelligence and the fact that it is going to put diamond graders out of a job. Here’s a link:


I would love to hear the opinions of others on this forum about the impact that artificial intelligence is going to have on the gem and jewellery industry.

Do you think Gemologists will eventually find themselves out of a job because of Artificial Intelligence?
Do you think Jewellery Valuers will eventually find themselves out of a job because of Artificial Intelligence?
Do you think parts of the jewellery industry will become more automated (eg. robots)?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Yelena
 

LLJsmom

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Maybe if they save time on actually identifying them the inclusions, they can provide evaluations of how the diamond actually performs.
 

voce

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I was watching The Social Dilemma earlier today. One thing that struck a chord with me is that artificial intelligence has biases.

Machine learning will not identify new treatments, new specimens (thinking about all gemstones). They can learn based off what is already established, but it takes humans to lay new groundwork. So humans will be needed, just not in large numbers anymore. The machines will do the grunt work most likely.
 

Karl_K

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AI garbage in garbage out.
AI is only as good as its datasets it draws upon.
Training a system to identify inclusions is fairly easy, aligning what the program finds with a grading system is hard.
Yes some graders at the lab level are likely to be replaced.
But they will have to have someone around to calibrate, fix and oversee the machines as well as verify the output.
What many companies are finding the cost of hiring people to care for the machines can be higher than having people do it in the first place.
 

monipod

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I can imagine AI will replace some tasks/jobs but as an online consumer of something that is largely defined as beautiful by the human eye, I will want the opinion of another human as to whether a stone is a good purchase or not. Numbers are a great tool as we've found but I still want the human eye to assess diamonds.
 

Karl_K

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I was watching The Social Dilemma earlier today. One thing that struck a chord with me is that artificial intelligence has biases.
not exactly, what is does is finds biases in the datasets it was fed.
Everyone thinks of biases as artificial but there are real world biases.
For example the AI routing software used by UPS developed a bias against left hand turns in the US and right hand turns elsewhere(any turn across traffic).
Now there were people saying the same thing for years but when the software said they would save millions it was tried with success.
Another bias in the study was against high traffic roads.
That did not work out, often sending trucks down unsuitable roads. The humans were ignored and it was tried with very poor results.
2 examples of bias in AI. One good and one bad.
 

Karl_K

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Do you think Gemologists will eventually find themselves out of a job because of Artificial Intelligence? very few gemologists actually work for labs and they are the only ones right now with large enough datasets for AI.

Do you think Jewellery Valuers will eventually find themselves out of a job because of Artificial Intelligence?
The ease of looking up stuff on the internet probably cut into business a lot in some areas but no they will not be replaced by AI

Do you think parts of the jewellery industry will become more automated (eg. robots)?
yes
All imho subject to change as more data comes in.
 

denverappraiser

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Speaking as a Jewellery Valuer, I have to say no. I do this full-time and have for decades so I think it’s fair to say I have some experience in what Valuers do. I don’t spend even 5% of my time grading diamonds, the area that AI seems to be helping with. What I do spend a lot of time on is talking to customers and writing reports.

For example:

Is this thing a diamond?

Is this the same diamond as the one described on this report?

Has it been damaged or altered since the report was issued?

Is it set properly and securely?

How was the jewelry made? Who made it? When? Did they do a good job?

Is it a style that would likely sell? In what marketplace? How do I do that?

The seller provided an ‘appraisal’ that’s clearly BS. Tell me the facts.

I just bought this. Did I pay a reasonable price? Is it of good quality? Is it as the seller represented it?

I need to document this thing for my insurance. Can you help with that?

I bought, found, or otherwise obtained this. Can you tell me what it is? What do I do with it?
 

denverappraiser

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Even grading diamonds isn’t so short an answer. For example, GIA has announced they intend to use AI to make clarity grading more consistent. That is to say, they’re going to clarity grade using AI. How will they do that? Well, you send the stone to their lab. They carefully clean it and do some scans and basic tests to do things like measure it, weigh it, test for origin, etc. using some shockingly expensive equipment. They then take a photograph (or 100) and upload them to the cloud where an AI analyzes them for inclusions, blemishes and so on. That produces a clarity grade as of the date the photographs.

How many jobs is all of that? Are those workers what you would call gemologists or something else? Programmers. Photographers? Technicians? Data analysts? Equipment maintenance techs? What’s the difference?
 

Rockdiamond

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Neil has raised excellent points, as usual.
And still- there's another aspect to this.
Aside from the real considerations Neil raised, assessment of Round Brilliant Cut colorless diamonds, which account for the vast majority of the market are fairly easy to standardize.
But fancy shapes are not nearly so easily categorized or assessed.
Same for Fancy Colored Diamonds.
I thank the Gods for this as it makes life so much more interesting......
 

FL_runner

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I will preface this by saying I am a doctor- I think of this as similar to radiologists- the types of imaging studies become more complex, as does the software used to analyze them, but you still need a human to validate and interpret the data, place it into clinical context, communicate the results and determine next steps for the patient.

Take a multi-nodular thyroid for example- an automated program could map all the nodules and analyze their qualities for high/low risk of malignancy... but you really want an experienced doc who has seen a LOT of nodules and cancers to review the images and interpret before you would trust an AI to say "nah, that's benign". Someone has to operate the tech and make sure it's results make sense.
 

Rockdiamond

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I will preface this by saying I am a doctor-
First off- thank you for the work you do!!
Speaking for myself....I greatly admire doctors- and I'm super thankful my profession isn't life or death!!
 

FL_runner

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First off- thank you for the work you do!!
Speaking for myself....I greatly admire doctors- and I'm super thankful my profession isn't life or death!!
Kind of you to say! I couldn't imagine doing anything else and even the challenging parts are really rewarding for me. I only wanted to say that I have no real gem industry expertise beyond being an avid pricescope lurker! But the discussions have been similar in so many fields when we introduce technology that's supposed to be as good as a well trained human... it's never going to be the same in my opinion!
 

Karl_K

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AI is the latest round of buzz word bingo replacing the not the next big thing blockchain.
So that means take everything AI like a grain of salt.
Trillions of them on a bowl and they melt when they get hot or wet.
 

Karl_K

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An interesting fact a $2 cutter in a modern machine shop many times is better tracked than a $25000.00 diamond in the typical large jeweler and even some wholesalers.
 

Bron357

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Interesting and probable.
Back in the day if you wanted to take your money out of your bank account or put money in you dealt with a person.
And you could only do so between 10am and 3pm Mon to Thurs and 10am to 5pm Friday.
Then came extended hours and then came ATMs.
Very few people these days ever deal with a “person” in relation to their financial affairs, in fact you can do it all without leaving your couch and without actually having to handle “money”.
Even medical services are being provided / handled by computers / programs, go to some restaurants and order using your device, we now tend to buy online than visit a store so it’s probable more and more services previously provided by people will be provided by computers because it can make it cheaper and faster.
Sad actually.
 

Yelena

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Thank you to all of you for pondering these questions and posting a response. It is something that I have been pondering as well, mainly because I am seriously considering training to become a jewellery valuer. I didn't think that AI would have much of an impact on the work of a jewellery valuer, but then who am I to know? It's always good to get the opinions of people who have more knowledge and experience than oneself.

It's a case of, I have reached a certain point in my life and I have realised that I haven't spent enough time pursuing my passion for jewellery and gems, so I had better get cracking now. I will hopefully be studying gemmology next year and the year after and then I will see where I head after that.

As an aside, I work in the accounting/finance field and we have had our management ask us all to suggest processes that could potentially be automated using AI, so I do think it is going to re-shape the world of work. My workplace generally plays it safe, so hearing that from our management made me sit up and take notice.
 

Modified Brilliant

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AI cannot replace the "out of the ordinary" appraisal assignments that appraiser's generally see day to day. Like Neil, I am not concerned because I also only do about 5% diamond grading (new loose diamonds). 95% of what I do is mounted in jewelry and is antique to contemporary. My main business is large estate appraisals for probate and equitable distribution among family. Each scenario is different and challenging, but as long as folks are leaving their jewelry to family members, I will stay busy. AI in a laboratory environment should work well as research advances. Time will tell.
 

Yelena

Shiny_Rock
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Aug 7, 2019
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AI cannot replace the "out of the ordinary" appraisal assignments that appraiser's generally see day to day. Like Neil, I am not concerned because I also only do about 5% diamond grading (new loose diamonds). 95% of what I do is mounted in jewelry and is antique to contemporary. My main business is large estate appraisals for probate and equitable distribution among family. Each scenario is different and challenging, but as long as folks are leaving their jewelry to family members, I will stay busy. AI in a laboratory environment should work well as research advances. Time will tell.
Thanks for your thoughts @Modified Brilliant, I had suspected as much. It’s safe for me to hold onto my dream to become an appraiser one day. Diploma of Gemmology, here I come :D
 
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