‘What is our response to the robust growth of AI and its uses across the utilities market, and water industry in particular?’ – we have asked our Co-Founder and Technical Director Neil Stewart to share some of his thoughts today.

‘With the recent emergence of widely available generative AI tools like ChatGPT, the discussions around AI use cases are gathering pace. For some, it seems like Christmas has come early as the early adopters shoot for the stars, while, for others, there is a cautious trepidation and fear of the unknown.

Just as Neo realised the truth of the Matrix, in that visionary movie all those years ago, we will soon appreciate the capacity of AI. Hopefully, us humans will be smart enough not to enable AI system enslavement but leverage AI that will improve, empower, drive faster creativity, and help us transition to a smart, powerful way of achieving important things. This is the hope.’

What strengths and weaknesses you can see from your perspective when it comes to use of AI in the water market?

‘AI has been around, largely in the background, for some time and technology has made some positive AI advances supporting the water industry in different ways. For example, smart water networks are spreading and evolving all over Britain, driving water efficiency and powering early alert systems when network issues happen.

One of the big challenges facing the water industry today is with integrity and quality of core market data and data held by market participants. With tens of thousands of daily market data transactions, the pace of market change is naturally open to data integrity and quality issues.

Positively, AI is starting to be used to help maintain and monitor water market data, with the upcoming MOSL Central Data Cleanse Project shaping up to provide a much-needed fresh start. However, smarter data monitoring and processing will be needed to maintain integrity over time.’

What can customers expect from Occutrace technology, following all recent market developments?

‘Occutrace are at the heart of data improvement every day, using technology alongside human intervention, at times, to achieve the highest possible levels of confidence in data accuracy. We are improving our technology now, in ways that will deliver significant efficiency in how we achieve results.

Two of our most exciting projects currently underway are:

1. AI-DAM: In collaboration with market participants, our AI-Data Automation Model, will continually monitor and cleanse our client’s data, integrating with many high quality and dynamic data sources. Machine Learning capabilities will establish a layered risk model to improve the confidence levels of data accuracy.

This combination will enable high volume smart identification of market change events, as they occur and with extremely high levels of confidence. AI-DAM will also integrate Occutrace’s existing high-volume field and desktop data capture operations, to enhance data validation automation, in real-time. We are very excited about what this will bring in terms of a variety of market product offerings, and competitive edge for our clients.

2. Smart Image & Video (next gen 5G readiness):  In collaboration with the Scotland 5G Centre, we are developing next gen 5G (and 6G) ready smart apps that will enhance how we use high resolution images we capture in the field and enable us to introduce video streaming and capture in the field. This will enhance evidence for existing data collection and validation products we offer. We are also developing AI image and video functionality, for more exciting and diverse use cases and new product offerings. Watch this space.

For Occutrace, technology has always been at the heart of what we do. AI is a natural progression and one we are embracing with optimism. We are excited to be growing our technology team, establishing stronger technology partnerships, and creating more collaboration opportunities to benefit the water industry and drive us into new markets, including the energy industry. We hope that the water and other utilities markets are ready to embrace the possibilities of AI with us.’

Are you interested to discuss this or other services with us? Then let us know here or submit a form on our website and we’ll get in touch.

The Scotland 5G Centre David McKenzie Oliver Driscoll Tanya Stevenson