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Master Samurai Tech Radio, Episode 29: Appliance Repair Triage Tools or Dummy Directions?


Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Triage tools for appliance repair service calls are all the rage today. Whether based on a frequent parts replacement database or more sophisticated database queries and constructs using AI, there's lots of talk about these products. 

Team Samurai weighs in on this topic to discuss the proper and improper use of these tools. In the hands of a skilled tech, they can be a time saver. But triage tools cannot make a skilled tech out of PCMs. Lots of nuances to this topic so listen in.

 

Here's the link to the "Errors, Omissions, and Dummy Directions" video mentioned in this episode.

Learn real appliance tech skills at Master Samurai Tech Online Appliance Repair School: https://mastersamuraitech.com/online-appliance-repair-courses/

Get service manuals, continuing training, and peer-to-peer tech support at Appliantology.org:

 

 

 

 

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MarcusF

Posted (edited)

I actually had a meeting with a company that has created a triage tool based on AI, and the most useful part of the tool was being able to map service manuals by model number and have the correct manual ready for the tech to download without them having to look for it. I'm not sure how accurate this actually was though, and I'm fairly certain it only worked for Whirlpool-brand appliances. I think this part of it is really exciting and something worth exploring.

The triage tool itself was very lackluster, it didn't tell you anything you didn't already know. If you had a fridge that wasn't cooling for example, it would just give you a long list of potential causes, and I can create that list myself in my head in five seconds. The problem is, I'd rather not create that list. I find that it's better to get out there and get my facts instead of making any assumptions about what's going on, to avoid clouding my troubleshooting and judgement.

I think if used purely as a guide, perhaps for someone in customer service without technical knowledge, to help them ask the right questions to get more useful answers from the customer, these things can be very valuable tools. I don't believe they offer much to an actual technician though. If used by a tech with little to no experience it'll teach them incorrect things and procedures, and when used by an experienced tech it won't tell them anything they don't already know.

Edited by MarcusF
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Posted

1 hour ago, MarcusF said:

the most useful part of the tool was being able to map service manuals by model number and have the correct manual ready for the tech to download without them having to look for it.

Good comments, Marcus! Yep-- AI can be a time-saving assistant, doing some of the leg work for you quickly. I see it as a productivity tool for an already skilled technician. But in the hands of PCM, AI just gives you a computer-controlled PCM-- literally. 

 

1 hour ago, MarcusF said:

I'm not sure how accurate this actually was though,

In any case, it can only be an accurate as the database source info, such as the information in service manuals and tech sheets. But what if that information has errors? You'll get erroneous output. What about omissions? In these cases, the AI may "hallucinate"-- a real phenomena with AI were it literally makes stuff up and then believes its own BS. Sam's video shows a couple of real world examples where the technical literature was just plain wrong. A classically trained technician can easily spot this. But AI cannot. It's garbage in, garbage out. 

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28 minutes ago, Samurai Appliance Repair Man said:

In any case, it can only be an accurate as the database source info, such as the information in service manuals and tech sheets.

Exactly. And there is no unified data base of tech documentation, so getting access to one would require building it, and building it would require (I assume) paying $$$ to each and every manufacturer for access. I'll stick to Appliantology, thank you very much.

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