Ready or not, here AI comes: What every water utility needs to know

Since OpenAI’s ChatGPT broke into the public sphere in November 2022, anyone who logged on fast enough—and that was a record-breaking number of people—suddenly had the future of chatbots at their fingertips: an artificial intelligence (AI) we could talk to, and it could talk to us, in an almost indistinguishable-from-human way. OpenAI’s DALL-E-2 hit the stage with similar hype, able to generate uncanny digital images from natural language descriptions.

The buzz around AI quickly reached a fever pitch, influencing industries across the board, including the water sector, to get excited, scared, anxious, but most of all interested in artificial intelligence at a whole new level. AI feels more “here” than ever before, and it’s changing, fast. Just in the past week, we’ve had to update this paper to reflect the quick pace of change in AI technology.  

If you’re in the water sector and you’re feeling that heightened AI excitement, you may be wondering:

  • What does the recent AI momentum mean for utilities big and small, and how can you take action?
  • What is AI, and what is it about AI now that makes it relevant to the water sector?
  • What kinds of AI applications exist now in water management, and how might we imagine them in the future? 
  • How can utilities take a measured approach to AI in their organizations? 

In this paper, four water-sector experts respond to AI’s recent momentum and offer their perspectives on the questions above. In an effort to cut through the noise currently swirling about AI, this paper speaks plainly to demystify AI basics and surface pointed considerations for water sector professionals, whether you’re an expert, engineer, or manager of a utility of any size. 

You’ll find access to the full paper here:

Qatium Experts

Qatium is co-created with experts and thought leaders from the water industry. We create content to help utilities of all sizes to face current & future challenges.

Contributors for this piece include Qatium advisors Dragan SavicSaša TomičPaul Fleming, and Qatium community member Gigi Karmous-Edwards.


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