Artificial Intelligence 

AIArtificial Intelligence refers to the creation of intelligent machines that are capable of carrying out tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as visual perception, problem-solving and decision-making. For NDT, it can be used to enhance data analysis: identifying correlations and detecting anomalies that would be overlooked by human inspectors.

AI can also enable automated testing and intelligent reporting, reducing the need for human intervention and increasing productivity. Ultimately, these tools can help to improve the reliability and accuracy of inspection results, enhance the speed and efficiency of testing processes and reduce the risk of errors and inconsistencies. AI can provide insights into the condition of assets and help to forecast maintenance needs, which can prevent costly failures and mitigate risks.

This definition was written using an AI tool called ChatGPT. As with all tools, it is the responsibility of the suitably qualified human operator and/or approving body to ensure they are being used correctly and to scrutinise the validity of their outputs.

For more information on AI, see:
‘Rail Safety and Standards Board to use AI’. Available at:
‘Automatic defect recognition in digital radiography based on artificial intelligence’. Available at:
UK government press release. Available at:

WHAT THE HEC?! articles are not intended to be the definitive account on the topic or acronym in question. Readers’ comments and contributions are welcomed. Email: