The need for artificial intelligence (AI) is running high across industries, as large companies have begun to inquire about intelligent machines that work and react like humans.
Amid the concern and fear that in the nearest future machines may displace many people from their jobs or eventually be superior to people due to constant improvement, Babur Ozden, co-founder and CEO of AI startup Maana, said he has heard from 20 large oil companies inquiring about artificial intelligence in the last 12 months, up from just six or seven in the prior 12 months.
In an interview with IBD at CERAWeek, an annual energy conference organized by the information and insights company IHS Markit in Houston, Ozden said the reason interest is surging now is because artificial intelligence is “actually doable,” as advancements in cloud computing and infrastructure have made the machine more affordable and accessible.
The CEO affirmed that “The industrial world is waking up to best practices. They are all waking up to it.” Tech giants Apple, Alphabet (GOOGL), Facebook, and Microsoft have raced to apply artificial intelligence to their businesses, and now, the oil industry is starting to seize on AI’s benefits too.
According to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD), several heavyweights in the energy industry are already investors in his company, including General Electric (GE), Chevron (CVX), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) and Saudi Aramco.
For now, the energy industry is implementing artificial-intelligence technology in repetitive, everyday tasks like forecasting demand for liquefied natural gas.
However, Ozden believes AI can help oil companies improve decisionmaking across the enterprise, while also improving efficiency and operations.
The benefits to an international oil and gas company could be measured in a few billion dollars a year, he estimates, as AI is applied to tasks that are reasonably expensive, time-consuming and prone to human error.
The CEO predicted that AI won’t change the industry overnight.
It will probably take about a decade for AI’s use to be fully optimized. On autonomous car and unmanned ground vehicle, Ozden said that there will have to be autonomous drilling en masse before such cars are on the roads en masse. In his words, “I believe so because of the complexity of having a car in a metropolitan environment with a number of moving things around it.
The drilling environment is more contained — no people trying to cross the street.” IBD reported that Last year, Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) said using artificial intelligence could help ensure it always drills for oil in the best places.
Timothy Dove, pioneer CEO said Tuesday at the CERAWeek that 2017 was a tipping point for technology like machine learning. CERAWeek is an annual energy conference organized by the information and insights company IHS Markit in Houston, Texas.
It fosters a culture of idea exchange, learning, and relationship-building between industry, government, and society to address the global energy future. The 2018 edition lasted from March 5 to 9, 2018.