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Datatecnics and Isle Utilities host inaugural WaterAIM event

October 19, 2023

Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of hosting the very first WaterAIM event at Manchester’s Bonded Warehouse.  

The all-day event brought together AI champions from across the country, with utilities that attended representing 75% of the population served in the UK.

We heard fantastic talks from water industry insiders and technical experts alike, and collectively answered some of the sector’s most pressing questions around AI adoption.

Knowledge sharing from a brilliant lineup of speakers

Stuart Moss from Isle Utilities opened the day with a welcome talk, introducing the purpose behind WaterAIM to the room. Throughout the day, we heard from a diverse range of water experts and AI champions:

  • Gigi Karmous-Edwards form SWAN dissected the landscape of AI in Water
  • Karim Amjad from Keen AI shared insights on the practical application of AI as BAU at National Grid
  • Suhayl Zulfiquar from Datatecnics took the stage to discuss business case building for AI solutions in the sector
  • Colin O’Hanlon from United Utilities shared five key considerations for AI in operation
  • Dr. Milad Latifi and Ramiz Beig Zali from Datatecnics painted a picture of the art of the possible for AI in water

Workshops shed light on key barriers and pathways to adoption

In between the fantastic talks, attendees put their heads together in breakout workshops addressing the following critical questions:

  1. What are the biggest risks, challenges, and barriers when it comes to adopting AI in the water sector
  2. What are the best pathways for adoption at scale
  3. Which problems should we focus on first

Participants jotted their thoughts and ideas on sticky notes which were then stuck on the wall and categorised according to the themes that emerged from the brainstorms.

Key takeaways from the event

The honest conversations shed light on some core challenges and ambitions that AI champions across UK utilities shared.  

Some key insights from the day:

  • Practical use cases and demonstration of value are critical for successful business case building
  • Utilities urgently need clearer frameworks to facilitate and guide AI adoption
  • The lack of quantity and quality of data is still posing a challenge for adoption

Key findings from the day will be collated in a report to be circulated among participants. If you’re interested in receiving the report, get in touch with our team.

What is WaterAIM?

WaterAIM was set up with a clear mission: to make AI business-as-usual for water companies.  

The community’s top objectives are to help internal champions in water companies implement AI-driven tools, serve as a forum for knowledge sharing and collective problem solving, and keep a finger on the pulse of AI adoption in the water sector.

Interested in becoming part of WaterAIM? Get in touch to find out more.