As artificial systems (AI) get increasingly complex, they are being used to make forecasts – or rather generate predictive model results – in more and more areas of our lives. At the same time, concerns are on the rise about reliability, amid widening margins of error in elaborate AI predictions. Management science offers a set of tools that can make AI systems more trustworthy. The discipline that brings human decision-makers to the top of their game can also be applied to machines, according to Thomas G Dietterich, Professor Emeritus and Director of Intelligent Systems Research at Oregon State University. Human intuition still beats AI hands down in making judgment calls in a crisis. People – and especially those working in their areas of experience and expertise – are simply more trustworthy.
In the industrial world, and specifically the energy sector, the amount of connected devices, sensors and machines is continuously growing, resulting in the internet of energy, or IoE. IoE can be broadly defined as the upgrading and automating of electricity infrastructures, making energy production more clean and efficient, and putting more power in the hands of the consumer. Given the vast amount of data the energy sector generates and the increasing number of sensors added, it is the perfect environment for machine learning applications. Artificial intelligence (AI) excels at finding subtle patterns in data sets of all shapes and sizes, particularly under complex or changing conditions. Although data within IoE is growing at exponential rates, much of that data is traditionally siloed across business units (generation, transmission and distribution, energy trading and risk management, and cybersecurity).
Climate change is a clear and present danger to the world economy. The tech industry bears its share of responsibility, not just for carbons emission but deforestation, plastic, chemical and other waste contamination, resource depletion and other damaging activities. But the tech industry also has the capacity to dramatically change the trajectory of all these problems; to at least slow down, if not reverse, the harm being done to our one and only planet. Artificial Intelligence (AI) in particular is already having a remarkable impact on issues that seemed intractable only a few years ago. Rather than being bad for the climate, AI is proving to help.
Robotic vehicles have been used in dangerous environments for decades, from decommissioning the Fukushima nuclear power plant or inspecting underwater energy infrastructure in the North Sea. More recently, autonomous vehicles from boats to grocery delivery carts have made the gentle transition from research centres into the real world with very few hiccups. Yet the promised arrival of self-driving cars has not progressed beyond the testing stage. And in one test drive of an Uber self-driving car in 2018, a pedestrian was killed by the vehicle. Although these accidents happen every day when humans are behind the wheel, the public holds driverless cars to far higher safety standards, interpreting one-off accidents as proof that these vehicles are too unsafe to unleash on public roads.
Ferrari has already made cars with hybrid powertrains, but during its Annual General Meeting this week, acting CEO John Elkann told investors in prepared remarks (PDF) that the carmaker will unveil "the first all-electric Ferrari" in 2025. Hopefully that plan will hold even after the company confirms a new CEO -- over the past decade execs have said Ferrari will never build an EV, will be the first with an electric supercar, or that an electric Ferrari will not arrive until after 2025. We are continuing to execute our electrification strategy in a highly disciplined way. And our interpretation and application of these technologies both in motor sport and in road cars is a huge opportunity to bring the uniqueness and passion of Ferrari to new generations. As you would expect, we have started by setting the bar high.
Since 2007, two professors at the TU Delft have been researching ways to harvest energy from the wind using a kite. The robotic kite looks set to make its debut in the energy sector, but often inventions are used in unexpected ways. In this series of articles, we take robot innovations from their test-lab and bring them to a randomly selected workplace in the outside world. From kindergarten teacher Fransien, we learn that big kites could also be child's play, quite literally. A robot wheels in the kite and then slowly releases it, painting 8-shaped loops on the sky.
An emission-free'nuclear powered' 984ft-long science exploration vessel, as large as the world's longest cruise ship will launch in 2025 with 22 cutting edge laboratories and over 400 people on board. The Earth 300 vessel has been designed to'unite science and exploration to confront Earth's greatest challenges,' according the founder of Iddes Yacht, manufacturer of the ship, Salas Jefferson, who says it will cater for about 160 scientists at one time. The ship will be packed with green technology, a'science sphere', and will be powered by a Molten Salt Reactor, a type of nuclear power generator that uses molten fluoride salts as a coolant and operates at low pressure. When launched, it will act as an'extreme technology platform for science, exploration and innovation at sea', according to Iddes, who say its 22 laboratories will be equipped with robotics and artificial intelligence systems. An emission-free'nuclear powered' 984ft-long science exploration vessel, as large as the world's longest cruise ship will launch in 2025 with 22 cutting edge laboratories and over 400 people on board The Iddes Yacht vessel has been designed to'unite science and exploration to confront Earth's greatest challenges,' according founder Salas Jefferson, who says it will cater for about 160 scientists at one time The ship will be packed with green technology, a'science sphere', and will be powered by a Molten Salt Reactor, a type of nuclear power generator that uses molten fluoride salts as a coolant and operates at low pressure Featuring naval architecture by the NED Project, Earth 300 will introduce'features found on cruise, expedition, research and luxury yachts but she will be none of them,' said Earth 300 chief executive Aaron Olivera. The firm behind the design say it will have a'science city' inside a huge sphere, an observation deck and an interior dedicated to scientific research and expedition.
A powerful once-in-a-decade winter storm in February resulted in the near total collapse of Texas' power grid, resulting in residential and commercial areas suffering days-long blackouts, which led to at least 57 deaths and billions of dollars in property damage across the state's 254 counties. In addition, some Texans who did have power are facing overcharges of about $16 billion for electricity consumed during the weeklong crisis, according to a watchdog for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the quasi-governmental entity that oversees the Lone Star State's power grid. While debates as to the root causes of the grid's failure are likely to go on for months if not years, some energy experts contend that a potential solution exists that could have alleviated some of the worst effects of the power shutdown – the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) into the management of the grid. Artificial Intelligence is loosely defined as the use of computer systems to process large volumes of data in order to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition and decision-making. Although AI technology has been embraced by a number of other economic sectors, such as retail and insurance industries, the operators of the U.S. power grid have been slower to adopt it.
All this means that utilities, policy makers and regulatory bodies need to start thinking about what role they want to play when it comes to decentralized energy resources. The patchwork of distributed energy producers will depend on coordination and management. Utilities can take the lead here as they face a shrinking pool of customers purchasing electricity as more homes and businesses become energy producers themselves – thanks to rooftop solar panels and the like. Already, the size of a median power plant in Europe has fallen from 800 megawatts in 2012 to 562 megawatts in 2020, and BloombergNEF projects this will plummet to 32 megawatts by 2050.