The Quiet AI revolution in Heavy Industries -Red Marble AI

How to drive efficiency and improve profitability by focusing on back office operations

As we’ve touched on before, many companies in heavy industries are now implementing AI and using it to improve their core business. Think autonomous mining or predictive maintenance; or machine learning being used to predict design completion of construction projects; or manufacturing companies running intelligent simulations of their production plants.

But there’s also a quiet revolution being driven by artificial intelligence adoption in back office functions, using technology to improve processes. Away from the front line, a bit less flashy and maybe not as sexy, but nonetheless having a direct impact in the bottom line.

In this webinar, heavy industry leaders Sarah Dods from AGL, Albert Suryadi from Mirvac, and Darren Crichton from Downer, will join our very own Tanveer Bal to share and discuss real world examples on how different AI executions have allowed them to drastically improve their back office operations, as well as where they see opportunities to leverage AI in the back office in 2022.

Register here

(if you can't attend, we'll send you the recording)

Tanveer Bal Red Marble Engagement Manager

Introducing Tanveer

Welcome to the Red Marble AI family to our new AI Engagement Manager Tanveer Bal!

Tanveer joined us last month and we are excited to have him on the team. He’s an experienced founder working with AI driven companies. He'll be leading the way on connecting the dots between business and technology teams for our projects.

My role is to bridge the gap between the business and data science teams. I want to help organisations capitalise on the opportunities that lay hidden in their data, transforming organisational data into business value.

says Tanveer, who founded his own AI consultancy, and in previous roles worked on projects with the likes of Downer and Microsoft.

Tanveer Bal Red Marble Engagement ManagerTanveer has spent lockdown with his best mate, his gorgeous labrador Zac (welcome to the team too Zac!), and reading up on AI, having just finished one of our favourites: Competing in the Age of AI.

"I'll be chatting to companies about how we can partner and help them understand how AI in general, and Red Marble's experiment-driven approach in particular, can improve their productivity". You can find him on linkedin or reach out via email.

The AI Revolution is here - Red Marble AI whitepaper

Construction in 2025: The AI Revolution is here

The AI revolution is here and the race is on to become the dominant force of construction in the future.

Today while the construction industry is awash with funding and fuelled by government spending, ultra-tight margins, difficulties retaining staff and cost overruns make it increasingly hard to be profitable.

Our whitepaper looks to the future, not the big blue sky wholesale change 50 years from now, but moreso how the first steps to solve these problems and revolutionise the industry are already underway.

In fact, many of the fundamental tools that will begin this wholesale change are here. In other sectors, data and AI have changed how industries operate and established a blueprint for industry takeover.

It is now up to the industry to take up the baton and run with it.

In our interviews with industry leaders, we are seeing pockets of excellence are already emerging. AI is being used effectively to drive improvements in several business areas. Data-centric technologies such as drones, Building Information Management (BIM), Internet of Things (IoT), and digital twins are supporting that.

Our Construction in 2025 whitepaper provides insights and the beginnings of a blueprint for change. Our 7 Steps to introducing AI are a guide to how construction industry leaders can get started.

We outline:

  • ​​Turbulent times: Construction’s big AI opportunity
  • Getting race ready: Transformation lessons from industry titans
  • Pockets of success: the sparks of an AI revolution
  • A Blueprint for the industry: AI predictions for 2025
  • 7 Steps to Introducing an AI experiment

One thing is clear: the prize for the firms who get this right is huge. Increased margin and profits, improved staff retention and emergence as a dominant player. And that’s just the beginning of what’s possible.

The race is on! Enjoy our analysis, and let us know if you've implemented any of these technologies in the past 12 months.


Red Marble - how to start your ai company from scratch podcast

How to Start an AI Consulting Company from Scratch

Our CEO Dave Timm chats to Daniel Faggella from Emerj Artificial Intelligence Research for the launch of the AI Consulting podcast about Red Marble AI and the “wow factor” that pushed him to start a consulting company. Dave talks about developing your AI consulting business idea, finding your first clients, and landing your first projects. He also goes into how to find technical talent without hiring them full-time from the start. Do you want more keys to success in your own AI consulting career?

The podcast launched two weeks ago with episodes each day since then – the feedback so far has been excellent! Have a listen, we would love for you to share your experience!

The Proximity Pal journey

The response to COVID-19 from Australian businesses has been inspiring – we’ve seen small operators completely pivot their business plan to survive, larger companies changing up their production lines to help make safety equipment and tech companies trying to engineer solutions to the problem.

In the past month, we’ve partnered with another start-up – Vimana Tech – to develop Proximity Pal, a smart sensor which detects physical proximity between people and helps to maintain social distancing.

A prototype of Proximity Pal.

As well as working the muscles of our talented machine learning team, it’s also been fascinating experience to go from idea to launching a product in under four weeks.

Here’s the timeline of Proximity Pal’s conception and creation.


Thursday 26th March

Around 4pm, I took a call from Joel Kuperholz, a pal who is one of the founders of Vimana Tech, small technology firm based in Melbourne. We’ve partnered with Joel and his team in the past. They were working on a physical device to do proximity detection and needed help with the algorithms. Our machine learning team are mainly mathematicians and physicists by background and so we were happy to help. We were on a zoom call by 5pm and spent the evening and all of Friday exploring the concepts.


Sunday 29th March

After a few long days and late nights, we had a working model using 3D printed parts, simple electronics and some clever software.

How Proximity Pal alerts users.

We began sharing within our network for feedback; one of our construction clients was ready to trial and sign up. There was also interest from mining companies and other retailers.


Thursday 9th April

Most of Australia was preparing for a very different Easter weekend. The country was in lockdown, and the press coverage was focussed on keeping everyone home. It was a critical weekend in controlling the spread and flattening the curve. Some business were already closed and more seemed likely to close imminently.

For us, a working weekend; but we didn’t have much else to do in any case!

By now, we’d agreed a joint venture between Vimana Tech, Red Marble AI and investors, created a company Proximity Pal, sorted branding and logos, filed a patent for the innovative technology, had the computer boards manufactured and created test devices. Results were promising.


Wednesday 15th April

We ran trials at a large hardware store in Melbourne with good results.

It was clear that the technology can detect proximity between humans and help keep people safe. But it was also clear that environmental conditions would affect the performance of Proximity Pal. Indoor or outdoor, different ceiling heights, different acoustic conditions and other factors all individually have minor impacts - but when coupled, could add up to be significant.

By now it was also clear that Australia wasn’t going to experience the horrors that many other countries had seen. Our rate of doubling thankfully had decreased from 25% to low single figures to a handful of cases each day. The threat of closing more businesses had turned into a narrative around easing lockdown and getting back to work sooner.

Our story had changed too; our new customers were now talking about how they can make the technology do more, and have a longer-term focus, to have applicability beyond the lockdown.


Monday 20th April

Proximity Pal is officially launched, 25 days after that first phone call.

We have a product in the market in three and a half weeks which meets a market need, and we’re now working on version two to give it applicability beyond the lockdown.


What have we learned?

Firstly... that everything is accelerated at the moment. Planning assumptions are out of date within days or even hours. Speed, agility and the ability to rapidly prototype, innovate and pivot have never been more important.

Secondly... it’s amazing what you can achieve with some bright people, clear focus and lots of urgency and belief. Companies need to find a way to harness that kind of energy in their normal operations.

Thirdly... that innovation requires constant experimentation. It requires a healthy scepticism to be blended with a “can-do” attitude. Collect and trust the data.

My final takeaway is that every meeting you have with every network contact can lead somewhere. Joel and I first met 8 months ago, we hadn’t worked together before now, but the seed was sown one morning in the middle of last year.

The world is experiencing lots of horrors at the moment; but through every crisis there are things we can learn and should maintain once we are through the worst.

Find out more about Proximity Pal and see our explainer video.

Red Marble's 2nd Birthday

Red Marble Turns 2 in March 2020.

Despite the uncertainty in our environment and the horrors from around the world with Covid-19, we celebrated a small milestone at Red Marble this month - our 2nd birthday!

We hired our first employee in March 2018. Since then, we’ve delivered AI and machine learning projects to enterprise customers across retail, travel, higher education, mining, construction, financial services and government.

We recently analysed our top 30 projects from the past 2 years to see what is most predictive of successfully realising business value from AI and ML, and what we could have done better. Over the next few weeks, we’ll share the lessons we’ve learned, plus tips and observations from our most stressful and successful projects.

Coca-Cola Amatil

Jasper Spira 

Emerging Technology Analyst at Coca-Cola Amatil

We ran an AVA workshop over the past 3 days to understand and build a prototype for AVA 2.0 the sales helper! Were able to achieve a whole heap but this is only the beginning…

Over the past 3 days the Emerging Tech team behind AVA have been working with Red Marble (An awesome start up specialised in AI & Bots) going through an end to end workshop to understand what users want to see in AVA for Sales

Day 1 we working with our end user to use Human Centered Design principles in understanding where pain points were in his day to day. Working with SME's we gathered how best to present this information to users and what information was critical. Our user gave feedback on this, providing his perspective, to ensure user experience was front of mind.

Day 2 was all about build, writing thousands of lines of code to prepare for the prototype demonstration today! The demo showed what we could do but we wanted to get feedback on what we had built. We had hit all the use cases from day one and achieved what we set out to and more! # From this, we've not only got a great prototype but also developed AVA's capability and that of our team The next steps are to take what we built from prototype to full functionality and into AVA itself, Stay tuned!

Microsoft Gold Parnership

Red Marble has been awarded Microsoft Gold Partner Status in Data Analytics

Red Marble has worked closely with Microsoft through many projects delivering machine learning and AI based solutions to Australian clients. Focussing Microsoft Azure and the Cognitive Services, the tools enable Red Marble to deliver value to clients rapidly.


Red Marble and Microsoft have also partnered on hackathons with various clients and have recently collaborated on work with Coca Cola Amatil and the NSW Government.

Women Ambassadors Luncheon – Melbourne 2019

Cheryl Vize, Advisory Board Member at Red Marble AI was invited to be a panelist at the recent Women Ambassadors Luncheon discussing: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Perspectives on FATE (Fairness, Accountability, Transparency and Ethics) in AI for a more equitable future.

On the panel was a great mix of industry and academic heavy-weights, and this report, spearheaded by Kate Marshall, Partner and Head of KPMG Law, Australia explains it’s purpose is to delve “into the complexities of the landscape with respect to ethics, principles, standards and regulation. It explores the diverse perspectives of experts from across the AI ecosystem in Australia on themes including growing gender representation in technology industries, social impact of AI, developing a national competitive advantage in AI and investing in public education on AI.”

Read a short writeup from KPMG's Kate Marshall, and download the white paper here.

Bookbot Hack

This past Monday Red Marble AI had the pleasure of working with DuluxGroup and Microsoft in one of our most enjoyable collaborative experiences yet.

Last week we did an awesome hack with @Bookbot – a Melbourne startup who helps to teach children to read. We took on a difficult challenge – training a voice recogniser to identify particular phonemes. We successfully recognised 4 specific ones with 90% accuracy – an exciting outcome! Looking forward to extending the work further.



"What an absolutely amazing day. I wish I could do this all the time! Well done to the team at Red Marble - extremely impressive machine learning ninjas. Seriously these guys are killing it" Adrian DeWitts, founder, Bookbot