Yoav Efrat: Sarine’s AI Di­a­mond Grad­ing A Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Step

Yoav Efrat, Sarine In­dia’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor des­ig­nate, speaks to Soli­taire about the game- chang­ing AI-based di­a­mond grad­ing lab re­cently opened in Mum­bai and more.

Solitaire - - CONTENTS -

Why has Sarine cho­sen to par­tic­i­pate at IIJS this year?

Sarine is well es­tab­lished in the In­dian di­a­mond in­dus­try, so need­less to say, IIJS is an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity for us to meet all our cus­tomers and ex­hibit our new so­lu­tions.

Give us your overview of the cur­rent mar­ket sit­u­a­tion in In­dia and abroad.

I think there are a few key chal­lenges that the in­dus­try, as a whole, has to deal with, be it syn­thetic di­a­monds and the fu­ture im­pact on con­sumer be­hav­iour, or re­cent fi­nanc­ing and credit is­sues that have neg­a­tively im­pacted the lo­cal in­dus­try and are not yet solved. How­ever, In­dia is still the hub of di­a­mond man­u­fac­tur­ing, trad­ing and re­tail, and I don’t see that this will change at all in the near fu­ture. In the long run, I think col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­forts are much needed in or­der to in­crease trust and make con­sumers fall in love with di­a­monds again.

What are your best­selling prod­ucts in the In­dian mar­ket?

There are many rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing prod­ucts but Gal­axy® is our win­ner. This prod­uct is an amaz­ing sci­en­tific break­through, en­abling us to see and map the in­ter­nal in­clu­sions of the rough di­a­mond. Be­fore the Gal­axy® was in­tro­duced, rough plan­ning and cut­ting was en­tirely man­ual. The best­selling Gal­axy® prod­uct changed the in­dus­try for­ever.

Tell us more about the AI-based di­a­mond grad­ing lab in­au­gu­rated in Mum­bai.

We have to start with the prob­lem that AI solves. To­day, di­a­mond grad­ing can be in­ac­cu­rate and in­con­sis­tent. In par­tic­u­lar, Clar­ity grad­ing is a very com­plex prob­lem, due to the in­fi­nite com­bi­na­tions of in­clu­sions, their size, lo­ca­tion, colour, re­flec­tions, etc. It is a com­plex, multi-di­men­sional prob­lem.

After many years of re­search, AI grad­ing is our most re­cent break­through. It en­ables some­thing that was sim­ply im­pos­si­ble be­fore: fully au­to­mated Colour and Clar­ity grad­ing.

But more than the 4Cs, we’ve in­tro­duced the Sarine Light™ Performance re­port and the Di­a­mond Jour­ney™ re­port that shows the whole jour­ney of the di­a­mond, from the mine to the jew­ellery store.

These are new so­lu­tions of­fered in our Tech­nol­ogy Labs, help­ing to cre­ate a di­a­mond ex­pe­ri­ence that is much more en­tic­ing and en­gag­ing for the mod­ern con­sumer.

Could you tell us in de­tail how the process of AI grad­ing works? Can you spec­ify which as­pects of grad­ing have been au­to­mated?

Op­er­a­tionally speak­ing, you place the di­a­mond in­side our sys­tems, click to scan, and get the re­sults. It’s as sim­ple as that. The AI tech­nol­ogy in­side the de­vice is a learning ma­chine that mea­sures mul­ti­ple fac­tors of the di­a­mond. Then, based on the vast ac­cu­mu­la­tion of past scans and mea­sure­ments, the AI cal­cu­lates all these fac­tors into one ac­cu­rate grade.

The ma­chine learning ap­proach means that we scan thou­sands of di­a­monds in or­der to teach the sys­tem how to grade di­a­monds in a

sim­i­lar way that pro­fes­sional graders do. This is a very ex­cit­ing and rev­o­lu­tion­ary step, and we are de­lighted to say that the re­sults so far are very sat­is­fy­ing, and sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter than man­ual grad­ing.

How will Sarine build the trust fac­tor for cus­tomised AI grad­ing re­ports at the re­tail level? Will AI di­a­mond grad­ing slowly re­place pro­fes­sional grad­ing labs?

Trust is key, and sys­tem­atic au­to­mated tech­nol­ogy can re­ally help to boost con­sumer con­fi­dence. For ex­am­ple, two di­a­monds may have the same 4Cs grad­ing, yet there is a big dif­fer­ence in price. This is dif­fi­cult for con­sumers to un­der­stand or ac­cept. Also, AI grad­ing is non-bi­ased as it is not sub­ject to hu­man fac­tors, such as mood or eye­sight, for ex­am­ple. You can see the ef­fects al­ready with Cut grad­ing, which used to be very in­con­sis­tent. How­ever, since the ad­vent of au­to­mated Cut grad­ing in the 1990s, it is now taken for granted that Cut grad­ing is very con­sis­tent and the tech­nol­ogy is used by every­one across the in­dus­try.

What are the pri­mary ben­e­fits of AI di­a­mond grad­ing? Will it bring down costs and shorten turn­around times?

The clear and im­me­di­ate ben­e­fits are ac­cu­rate and con­sis­tent grad­ing. This will in­evitably lead to in­creased trust and con­fi­dence in di­a­mond trad­ing, the con­sumer ex­pe­ri­ence in di­a­mond buy­ing as well. In terms of the cost of grad­ing, in the long run it may bring costs down. How­ever, to­day the tech­nol­ogy is still new and de­vel­op­ing, so it won’t im­me­di­ately im­pact the cost or turn­around times.

Does Sarine plan to in­cor­po­rate blockchain tech­nol­ogy to im­prove di­a­mond trace­abil­ity?

In­deed, but it is too early to share.

From ro­bots used in min­ing to ma­chines be­ing used to grade di­a­monds, and now even pol­ish­ing them... Do you see the slow but steady elim­i­na­tion of the hu­man el­e­ment from di­a­mond min­ing, cut­ting and pol­ish­ing?

I don’t see elim­i­na­tion of hu­mans in the di­a­mond man­u­fac­tur­ing and grad­ing in­dus­tries. Take for ex­am­ple the au­to­mated pol­ish­ing ma­chines that have been used for decades, yet peo­ple still have an im­por­tant place in the in­dus­try. How­ever, I do be­lieve that the role and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of pro­fes­sional di­a­mond graders will change with time.

Yoav Efrat

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