Much has been speculated already about how emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence can help out many sectors, including the water sector. It might seem like a far-fetched idea for some utilities; however, as we are well into 2020 now, some companies are already helping to forge this into reality.
First of all, what added benefit does AI provide to a water utility, and why is it worth all the trouble? Without getting into the nitty-gritty details of how AI works, as there’s already plenty of material out there on that, we’ll jump straight to what it brings to the table.
- As water utilities deal with a growing amount and complexity of data – AI helps digest this into usable pieces for accurate decision making
- AI is integrated into existing systems to enhance cost-effective operations, better planning, and the tracking of resource flows
- Finally, AI can be used to develop the new and exciting “digital twins” concept; a digital twin is a replica of the water utility that simulates operations in real-time used for decision making and future projections
Likewise, AI is also used to enhance other technologies, such as Virtual Reality and Blockchain applications. So who are the actors leading the charge for AI in the water sector currently? Highlighted below are a few up-and-coming companies blazing the trail for AI in the water sector as 2020 begins.
Clean Water AI: Using the Convolutional Neural Network and computer vision to detect dangerous particles and bacteria in water. Users can observe their water as if looking at security footage to detect contamination instantly.
Emagin AI: Probably one of the most well-known AI and water sector projects, Emagin has reached a new growth phase and become part of the Innovyze software family. Their software focuses on learning from past patterns to predict events and optimize operations.
Fracta.ai: An asset management solution that assesses the condition and risk of drinking water distribution mains, the added benefit is to shift the focus to prevention versus merely reactive management.
Voda.ai: A system for prioritizing infrastructure based on AI software which ranks the utility infrastructure by the risk of failure. The time span is currently from within 12 months and up to 10 years.
These are several of the emerging companies, whereas large companies such as Xylem, Inc., and Deloitte are incorporating AI solutions into their current services. What do you think will be the greatest impact that AI can have on the sector? The possibilities are still nearly endless.
At Master Meter Inc., we believe in humans, and that technology is only part of the solutions. We drive innovation and create technology for people. Our next generation of products simplifies analytics by focusing on the most useful information, and by providing an intuitive interactive experience for both utilities and their customers. Download our latest eBook “Now That We’re Smart, Are We Anymore Intelligent,” which focuses on the importance of keeping people in the driver’s seat of technology.