What do you think when you hear the words ‘artificial intelligence?’ Robots? Do images of a world that looks less human flash across your mind? Before you panic, know this. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is much more than the idea of pending doom. Defined as“intelligence displayed by machines, in contrast with the natural intelligence displayed by humans and other animals,” AI is simply another means to improve the way that we, as a society, address some of the biggest challenges we face.
Today, we’re focusing on utilities and AI. In this blog, we’ll discuss the ways utilities will be impacted by AI and what it means for the future of the industry.
Just as its name implies, AI is intelligent and sharing some of its knowledge to make smart grids even smarter. According to BizTech Magazine, one way that the energy and utilities industries will be impacted is from the making of smarter electric grids. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has already invested $4.5 billion in smart grid infrastructure since 2010. AI can identify things such as failing batteries, equipment and more with the use of smart sensors in order to improve efficiency and lower costs.
Furthermore, AI could potentially help power grids anticipate and mend faster from natural disasters. It will help predict outages and also elicit a faster response to an outage. Just last year, The Weather Company, an IBM Business, introduced a new outage prediction solution. The solution works to predict outages and thus makes it easier for the company to devise a quick plan of action.
As with any technology, cybersecurity is of the upmost importance. New technologies that are deployed on the grid, are basically open doors for looming cyber threats. Zpryme, a research firm, has found that U.S. utilities will spend $7.25 billion by 2020 on cybersecurity measures. AI will spring into action and be able to identify threats and respond to them. And it doesn’t stop there; AI can evolve with the new generations of cyber-attacks and use the data of prior attacks to address similar risks.
AI isn’t just for The Matrix fans. It has the intuitiveness to progress the utilities and energy industries by improving smart grids, predicting disasters before they happen and protecting against incoming cyber threats.