Oakland helps Network Rail develop Gen AI tool for knowledge

29 May 2024 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read

Working together with Oakland, Network Rail has developed a new solution that enhances how its staff harnesses its wealth of information and insights.

Like many complex organisations, Network Rail faced challenges with managing information within its business, across divisions, functions, departments, and teams.

Acknowledging the room for improvement, Network Rail launched a project to develop an own generative AI robot, that can help ‘prompting’ staff with gaining easier and quicker access to information and insights gained from past projects.

Oakland helps Network Rail develop Gen AI tool for knowledge

Working together with Oakland, a data consultancy firm from Leeds (one of the UK’s leading data science consultancies), Network Rail designed and developed a generative AI solution, powered by Microsoft AI and cloud technology.

Now launched, the generative AI solutions allows users to interact with the language model through a dynamic chatbot interface. The AI-tool enables users to pose queries and receive tailored responses drawing from Network Rail's extensive library of thousands of learned lessons and valuable data sources. 

Mo Momodu, Programme Manager in the Rail Infrastructure Centre of Excellence, said that the innovative solution will be highly valuable for better applying learnings from past projects and throughout the lifecycle of new projects. This will help the rail operator prevent issues later in the project timeline, improving overall efficiency and effectiveness.

“The deployment of generative AI capability within the learning from lessons library will transform the way we harness knowledge, enrich insights, and encourage cross-industry learning,” Momodu said.

The potential of these benefits can be huge: Network Rail has just started its new financial period (CP7), committing an investment of £44 billion in the UK railway infrastructure throughout 2024 to 2029. 

Jack Evans, Principal Consultant at Oakland, stated, “By placing AI at the heart of the solution, Network Rail can unlock a wealth of possibilities to make a real, positive impact for years to come. This is a game-changer for sharing and leveraging knowledge across the organisation.”

According to research from McKinsey & Company, generative AI is one of the most exciting emerging technologies around, predicted to add up to $4.4 trillion annually to the global economy.