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Microsoft: Intelligent AI for a Smarter Future


OGV Interview - Omar Saleh, Regional Director of Energy and Manufacturing, Microsoft - Middle East and Africa.

Digitalisation has been a big focus for the Oil and Gas industry and at ADIPEC 2018, what exciting products or services are Microsoft working on?

Our digitalisation is in place to enable new capabilities for the industry to help them reduce their costs to run safer operations, to optimise operational efficiencies and scale this across the organisation all around, that's what we're advocating for. Digital is about the business outcomes, on our booth at ADIPEC we had a set of showcases that demonstrate this. We're featuring, how you can optimise drilling with Artificial Intelligence. So, predictive analytics can help you drive state-of-the-art predictive geosteering, directing your drill bit into the pay zone and making sure that you're adjusting the well position in a proper manner. Similarly, we're sharing different applications of artificial intelligence in the domain of health and safety.

How can Microsoft’s technology help to improve health and safety?

We’re looking at how you are protecting your people, making sure that they're in the right place, in the right zones and this geofencing element of tracking what they're doing. Are they safe in this operation? The computer vision part of Artificial Intelligence plays a role as well. We identify the postures of people, we identify if there are any hazard situations around our facilities. For example, someone lighting a cigarette in a petrol station. We are also featuring the application of computer vision through drones. We have a demo about the application of drones for pipeline integrity where you can spot the obvious malfunctions within a pipeline and accordingly, your action on it in real time.

What makes Microsoft’s AI technology different?

What we bring which is very different, is an intelligent cloud, intelligent edge version of Microsoft. Artificial Intelligence does not need to sit on the cloud and be dependent on connectivity and communication. What we're featuring here is intelligence at the edge. For example, a drone, spotting a behaviour that is already wrong or otherwise a malfunction in one of the assets. It's going to action on it instantaneously regardless of having connectivity to the cloud because the AI functions, the machine learning and all the algorithms are running at the edge.

This is a huge potential for factors such as AI and machine learning. What do you predict for the future when it comes to digitalisation, will it be a digital future?

We're seeing the convergence today of the operational technology and the information technology. The whole industry is coming together and the value chain is integrated more than ever. I think that this is enabling us for the future and also predicting about the new business models that this will uncover for us. So, seeing that our customers of today will be our partners of tomorrow and that all oil companies are interested because they realise that this is paying them back. They can save lives, they can reduce the carbonisation, they can drive lower energy consumption and optimise their production activities. There are a lot of benefits that are tangible and that our customers are seeing today and they're realising them.

Published: 27-11-2018
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