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USEA To Hold Press Briefing on AI’s Transformational Impact on Utilities

The United States Energy Association will hold a virtual press briefing on May 30 to examine how AI is about to change electric and gas utilities forever.

AI will be transformative, and utilities may be the sector which is particularly suited to reap the early benefits of AI across the full panoply of operations.”
— Llewellyn King
WASHINGTON DC, USA, May 23, 2023/ -- “To rephrase Leon Trotsky: You may not be interested in AI, but AI is interested in you,” says journalist Llewellyn King, explaining how artificial intelligence (AI) is bearing down on U.S. business in general, and the electric and gas utility businesses in particular.

The United States Energy Association is holding a virtual press briefing, organized and hosted by King, on Tuesday, on May 30 at 11 a.m. Eastern Time to examine the coming impact of AI on the electric and gas utility industries.

The briefing, live on Zoom, is open to the press and the public.

Five experts will be questioned by five journalists who cover energy and electricity. Sheila Hollis, USEA acting executive director, will give opening and closing remarks.

The experts:

John E. Savage, An Wang Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Brown University
Jeremy Renshaw, Senior Technical Executive, Electric Power Research Institute
Marc Spieler, Transformational Leader, Global Business Development, Nvidia
Daniel Robertson, Senior Director of Innovation, Landis + Gyr

The reporters:

Matthew Daly, The Associated Press
Matt Chester, Energy Central
Jennifer Hiller, The Wall Street Journal
Peter Behr, E&E News
Ken Silverstein, Forbes 

“AI will be transformative, and utilities may be the sector which is particularly suited to reap the early benefits of AI across the full panoply of operations,” King says.

AI usefulness includes accurate forecasting of everything from weather to equipment performance. It will bring precision analysis and an enhanced ability to manage complex power flows from renewable and fluctuating generation facilities. It will enhance utilization of distributed energy resources and demand-side management with minute precision. Customer relations will be under the AI umbrella.

Essentially, every part of the utility’s operations will be affected and refined with AI, King says. “Of course,” he adds, “this will depend on size, culture, adaptability, and regulatory approvals.”

The downside, King warns, might be in job losses, vulnerability to false information and deepfakes.

“As Stuart J. Russell, professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, and a leading voice on the maelstrom, has warned, AI is here forever and will be part of the utility ecosystem forever,” King says.

After intensive reporting, King says he has found all utilities will feel the effects of AI, probably sooner than they think.

The national laboratories, from Argonne in Chicago to Pacific Northwest in Seattle, are working on the role of AI in utilities. The Electric Power Research Institute has an especially robust program, headed by Jeremy Renshaw.

Register here:

Llewellyn King
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