For GE Artificial Intelligence is the Future of Innovation

September 25, 2017 at 4:10 PMChad Moulder

Power Line Sunrise

This week, the blog takes a look at recent developments in the world of artificial intelligence, specifically as it applies to the aging infrastructure of the United States and how General Electric Co. plans to tackle it.

For General Electric, Artificial Intelligence is the Future of Innovation

General Electric Co. (GE) is betting big that artificial intelligence will be the key to unlocking future profits. GE has been betting big in recent months on the flexibility and power of machine learning to tackle a number of different projects from healthcare to computing and it looks like that bet may have just paid off.

Last week, GE announced that with the help of artificial intelligence, they have discovered a new approach to managing electricity in a power grid. General Electric Co. expects the new technology to save the global economy more than $200 billion dollars with implementation and adoption. The tech works by optimizing and managing the flow of electricity into and out of storage devices such as batteries and consumption access points in real time, a feat that has eluded researchers for decades. The hope from GE is that this tech will help aging electrical infrastructure which has always been plagued with inefficiencies (this scene from Chris Nolan's The Prestige always comes to mind).

The announcement marks the beginning of a new age for manufacturers. Researchers from around the world are confident that the way forward will be with artificial intelligence. "We're also putting a lot into the machine learning side, a lot. We have a lot of people working on this." says GE chief digital officer Steven Martin. Martin goes further to suggest that General Electric is looking at applying this technology to a variety of services and industries.

There are still many hurdles to overcome before artificial intelligence can be thought of as a legitimate development or management tool. One of the largest and most glaring is the the basic need for AI to be platform agnostic. One needs only to look to the differences between iOS and Android applications to see why this would be an important barrier to breach. Standardization will very likely become a necessity in the coming years, but questions abound. 

General Electric's electrical grid project offers a tantalizing glimpse into the future and is inspiring new and old companies alike to jump headfirst into autonomous solutions within their market, so it is safe to say that the future looks bright for AI. By conservative accounts, we could see the first major financial impact of artificial intelligence on the US economy by 2020. And the most interesting thing is that it is not a given what that will take the form of, but with autonomous cars and AI driven analytics alone expected to comprise more than $153 billion dollars, the sky seems to be the limit for earning and innovation.

Posted in: Did You Know | General | Manufacturing | News


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