Although innovation and digital transformation seem all about technology, they actually revolve around humans. Complex algorithms used for Artificial Intelligence (AI) contribute to making people's everyday lives a bit easier. And, especially in the rail industry, AI can help to solve one of the significant challenges: the skills gap. There is a lack of people with the right skills. So, what if technologies like deep learning and AI will allow us to spend less time on repetitive tasks and shift our attention to making changes that impact the sustainability of our environment and natural resources?

No flying trains, but a topical issue

"When people first asked me about how I see the future of the rail industry, they might have expected a story about flying trains," says AI-expert Glenn Brouwer. He is one of the founders and Chief Revenue Officer at BrainCreators that develops digital inspectors with domain partners. "Hopefully, I didn't disappoint them because I don't think that flying trains are the way that AI can benefit the rail industry. I do think, though, that AI can and will contribute to a topical issue; the skills gap the railway sector is experiencing right now. We are here to automate repetitive inspection work. The inspection results are presented as actionable insights that make a positive impact on our common future whilst contributing to closing the skills gap.”

The skills gap that many industries experience was discussed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2020. The gap pointed out there is the one between the skills that enterprises need and the skills that potential workers have to offer. As a result, there is a significant shortage of skilled workers.

Education and training systems try to keep pace with the demands of labour markets. It does, however, appear that the challenge is more extensive than this. Technological disruption, demographic change, shifting business models, and work's evolving nature are almost impossible to keep up with. This means a challenge for many industries. Between 2018 and 2022, it is estimated that 42% of the skills demanded for jobs across all industries has changed.

Reskilling and upskilling are necessities and not just nice extras for the rail industry. Fundamental skills have to be trained, like basic digital literacy, to boost people's chances of getting a job. But then again, we can ask ourselves if even well-trained people can close the skills gap on their own.

Clone your domain expertise

“It might come as a shock, but I often start my presentations with the story that there is a digital clone behind every human expert," says Brouwer with a friendly but determined smile. "Obviously, it’s not possible to clone people, however, we can do the next best thing which is clone digital inspectors. We allow expert human inspectors to clone their knowledge in a digital counterpart, so their knowledge and expertise can be used almost infinitely." The AI-driven digital inspectors of BrainCreators aim for faster, more consistent and cost-efficient inspections. These make a big impact on sustainability, maintainability, and public safety by efficiently monitoring the environment and effectively alerting to issues.

Moreover, BrainCreators directly impacts the future of work by offering intelligent automation solutions to solve the growing problem of human domain expert scarcity. BrainCreators augment the performance of human inspectors by automating the repetitive components of their work, allowing them to focus on the interpretation of inspection results.

The point Brouwer wants to make is that humans are very well-equipped to do creative and high-value work. The ‘boring’ repetitive tasks can be handled by machines — they are faster and more reliable at this kind of task. “Let's say you have very experienced railway inspectors. They are well-trained and have years of experience on the tracks. These people are your most valuable asset; you don't want to lose them. Actually, you'd rather clone them so that you have skilled people on the tracks 24/7 or can replace them when they retire. And cloning is what you can do with a digital rail inspector.”

“No worries,” assures Brouwer. “AI solutions won't replace your well-skilled inspectors, though they will support them at all times. The labour intensive work of checking the status of rails, railway stations and even crowd management can all be supported by AI solutions.”

Right now, it is people who inspect surfaces, objects, spaces, and crowds throughout the railway industry. But people...

  • Get distracted;
  • Aren't available 24/7;
  • Require years of education;
  • Will leave eventually;
  • Recruitment wall
  • Are expensive.

Hence, inspections done just by humans are costly, labour-intensive, inconsistent and often unsafe.

This is how it works

BrainCreators delivers Digital Inspectors that reduce cost and improve consistency at an unrivalled speed. Human inspectors can now train their digital counterparts on AI-powered software. Once trained, digital inspectors perform their jobs as scalable cloud or on-edge solutions.

Digital inspectors perceive the world through cameras and sensors. They inspect spaces, objects, and people to detect changes that require action. Their output consists of interactive reports, alerts, and API calls to maintenance systems. Each Digital Inspector is built on BrainCreators’ BrainMatter platform, a proprietary technology stack containing cutting-edge AI and fine-tuned deep learning models. The revolutionary BrainMatter platform generates Digital Inspectors based on the knowledge and skill of a human inspector.

Knowledge transfer between the human and the machine is based on taxonomy and examples. “We're automating digital inspectors' knowledge transfer and training to enable a fast and smooth transition from human to digital,” says Brouwer. “A trained Digital Inspector can be cloned infinitely to serve global customers as digital employees.”

Automating visual inspection tasks accelerates businesses in verticals such as infrastructure, smart cities, recycling, and retail by eliminating the costly bottleneck: manual visual inspections. A great example is BrainCreators’ digital road inspector - INSPECH or their digital crowd inspector within built-in privacy protection used in busy areas such as airports. Customers benefit from increased process speed, lower cost, higher consistency, and increased worker safety.

Digital Inspectors perform their work as a cloud-based software service, dedicated edge device, or embedded solution. They interact with existing cameras and scanning systems. If these are unavailable the digital inspector can be delivered with camera installations and edge computing devices through BrainCreators’ partners Bosch, IBM, Nvidia, and Advantech.

Once installed digital inspectors perform the work that was previously performed by trained experts. The human expert stays in the loop as a supervisor overseeing a much faster, more consistent, and more frequent performance of inspection tasks resulting in a safer, more cost-efficient, and reliable business process.

Obviously, within the railway sector, there is a broad range of visual tasks in the industry that can be covered. Therefore, BrainCreators is looking for new Domain Partners.

The main focus is to work with domain partners on

  • Smart systems for passenger information
  • In-train surveillance and vehicle monitoring
  • In-train and on-track automated asset inspections
  • Dashboards and (or) actionable insights for remote operations and emergency responses

Although many people in the rail industry seem to understand that this technology can be a game-changer, it is hard to find working business cases. Untill now, because BrainCreators is not only developing great AI solutions, it has also found a way to apply them. Along with (your) trustworthy partners that know the market.

Brouwer and his team chose a B2B2B model for the rail industry to help solve the most urgent challenges first. One of them being the skills gap. "As a scale-up, we are already in conversation with multiple industry leaders who are determined to stay ahead of the competition by embracing state-of-the-art digitization. They understand that implementing digital inspectors will help close the skills gap as a long term solution.

Is your company a part of the next step in AI for the rail industry?

The rail industry is ready for the next step in AI solutions. Not just because of their customer (end-users) needs, but because digital inspectors are significant contributors to closing the skills gap. “Sharing domain knowledge quickly and effectively is crucial to developing reliable, intelligent digital inspectors,” think Brouwer. “Our BrainMatter platform enables us to quickly create digital inspectors with our domain partners. Therefore we are now looking for new domain partnerships within the Rail sector.”

BrainCreators developed a special partner ecosystem that is offered through a B2B2B mode. The end-users pay volume-based inspection fees to domain partners. The domain partners, in turn, pay a license fee to use the AI-platform BrainMatter and a volume-based inspection fee ( when required, knowledge transfer support or additional services fees are added). In return, the domain partners receive an incentive fee from BrainCreators for new users coming via additional franchise partnerships.

➔ This way, partners can benefit by combining domain knowledge and technology, enabling them to work more consistently, faster, safer and less labour-intensive.

➔ The second advantage is that the digital inspector can then be offered through a SaaS model to end-users. Ecosystem partners can offer digital inspectors as an added value service to their customers.

➔ The third advantage of the B2B2B model is that the jointly developed digital inspector can also be marketed through a "Franchise Domain Partnership" model.

What BrainCreators does with this model is that the partners with specialized domain knowledge can apply the AI technology without needing a data scientist. The data scientific tasks are performed on the BrainMatter platform. “What we see with a lot of AI implementations that fail, is lack of either AI competence or domain knowledge, or both,” says Brouwer. “We offer outstanding SaaS solutions for visual inspection in the form of 'Digital Inspectors as a Service', performing as super-powered employees, enabling the business to scale more effectively and cost-efficiently. At BrainCreators we augment human rail experts with intelligent technology.”

Why you need this

The future-proof technology of BrainCreators can help organizations all across the rail industry scale and enhance their productivity. They can share their knowledge and data for leadership insights and free up their experts to do higher-value activities.

Instead of cloning people, BrainCreators is cloning digital employees. By doing so BrainCreators is contributing to closing the skills gap in the rail industry. Simply by adding a digital clone to human experts.

About BrainCreators

Faster, more consistent and cost-efficient inspections make a big impact on sustainability, maintainability and public safety by efficiently monitoring our environment and effectively alerting us to issues.

Moreover, BrainCreators directly impacts the future of work by offering intelligent automation solutions to solve the growing problem of human domain expert scarcity.


We are here to automate repetitive inspection work and present the results as actionable insights in cutting edge user experiences to empower the industries that make the most positive impact on our common future and contribute in closing the skills gap.

We allow expert human inspectors to clone their knowledge in a digital counterpart and share the resulting digital inspector with others as a software service.

What future do we want to help create?

A future where human beings focus on drawing conclusions from consistent inspection results and turn their interpretation into concrete action to eliminate waste, reduce cost and accelerate innovation.