Artificial Intelligence is no longer a disruptive technology; rather it has become an integral part of every aspect of our lives.  AI has had a huge impact on marketing and advertising and is now making its way into the operational technologies that run our buildings and cities. 

With artificial intelligence, cities and building operators can optimize every aspect of urban life from transportation to heating & cooling to managing water and wastewater systems while saving substantial amounts of energy and reducing GHG production.

How Ready Are You For AI?

Whether you are operating a large city or a small municipality, AI allows you to optimize your processes and reduce energy consumption.  However many get stuck on how to get started with AI.  The easy answer is to begin with data.  If you have systems that produce data then you are set to start the AI journey.  If you do not have systems that produce data, you should start planning to either upgrade or retrofit.  It is more likely than not that you already have systems that produce some kind of data.  For a building this can be temperatures in different zones and energy consumption records.  For a city this can be wastewater flow rates and pump station energy consumption or street lightning data. 

I have data, what’s next?

Before your data is processed by an AI system it has to be assessed.  Is the data clean enough?  Does the data provide enough information for an AI system to use it?  What other internal or external data sources can be used to enrich the data?

AI systems are very sensitive to the cleanliness of the data they process.  Issues like missing values or erroneous sensor readings can be detrimental to the efficacy of an AI model.  Making sure that missing or erroneous values are properly dealt with is critical.

Equally important is to enrich existing datasets with external but relevant data sources.  Outside temperature for example is critical to an AI system tasked with forecasting a building temperature profile and adjusting instrumentation to reduce energy spend and increase comfort.  Historical data such as maintenance records for lift station components would allow an AI system to identify predictive maintenance opportunities.

What are the benefits of AI?

AI’s most prominent value proposition is driving actionable insights from data.  These insights will help:

  • Reduce energy consumption
  • Reduce GHG production
  • Increase lifetime of equipment
  • Reduce downtime of equipment
  • Increase green brand image

So what’s the next step! Bring In Experts 

Key to the success of AI adoption is understanding the technology, its requirements and limitations as well as what it can provide.  Start with a SMART pilot project that explores how AI can help you run more efficiently  and build on this to onboard more AI capabilities.