Health & Environment

Texas A&M Ergo Center, Nokia Team Up To Improve Remote Worker Ergonomics

In addition to offering one year of online ergonomics training, researchers will also compare traditional computer-based methods to an immersive training option using artificial intelligence.
By Lauren Rouse, Texas A&M University Health Science Center June 15, 2022

researcher standing next to a young woman wearing a headset as part of ergonomics research
Mark Benden, left, is the director of the Ergo Center at Texas A&M.

Texas A&M Foundation

 

The Texas A&M University Ergo Center has teamed up with Nokia to provide its United States-based remote workers with online ergonomics training for one year.

“Given the rapid rise of remote office work, it is critical for companies to learn the best methods of training workers in these unique environments. Nokia and Texas A&M are collaborating to discover results that will benefit remote workers in all types of industries,” said Mark Benden, director of the Ergo Center, department head and professor in Environmental and Occupational Health at the Texas A&M University School of Public Health.

The innovative aspect of this training is that it will assess the differences between traditional computer-based training with artificial intelligence (AI) training utilizing an interactive digital human image named Cassandra. Cassandra was developed in partnership with Soul Machines Inc. to provide an immersive and interactive training experience that is much closer to a traditional instructor-led course but with the individual attention of a private coach.

“New work methods and locations are likely to indicate a need for new training methods. This digital human platform has significant potential in many areas of public health training given the more humanlike responses and interactions it provides,” said Kaysey Aguilar, doctoral candidate at the School of Public Health.

In addition to the ergonomics training, the Ergo Center will conduct research comparing this novel method of online training delivery (artificially intelligent avatar paired with text and interactive elements) to traditional, text-based online training modules through its study titled “Utilization of Digital People in Online Ergonomic Training for Remote Office Workers.”

“Nokia’s long-standing commitments to both safety and technological innovation are constantly looking for opportunities to push the envelope of what is possible. I believe this partnership with Texas A&M, and specifically this AI research to advance safety related training for a largely remote workforce, will yield benefits beyond just course credit into breakthrough culture shifts,” said Curtis Wales, Nokia Head of Safety and Security for the Americas.

This article by Lauren Rouse originally appeared on Vital Record.

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