Blog: National Grid “in talks” with DeepMind, Google’s artificial intelligence firm

Google’s DeepMind is in discussions with National Grid about the possibility of using artificial intelligence to help balance energy supply and demand, according to reports in the Financial Times. The idea is that the company’s machine learning technology may be able to better predict UK electricity demand, allowing for a more efficient grid.

What could this mean for the UK energy industry? When we spoke to a group of experts in January about the future of the Internet of Things, David Tuohy, senior vice president &  general manager of Europe for Tendril, told us that data analytics – especially on the scale DeepMind could achieve – could have a more profound impact on the utility sector than the Internet of Things: ”We believe that data analytics is arguably more important than IoT. As the IoT makes physical inroads into the home, the amount of data being generated is going to increase exponentially. Just look at the data from smart meters. Add smart thermostats and remote boiler diagnostics to this and you already have a gold mine of data, but you need to be able to extract the relevant information and make it actionable for the different parties in the value chain. While privacy is paramount, if this data is not shared with the right parties the true potential value of the IoT will not be realised. We keep telling people to start with the data analytics first. There is already a world of possibilities with building physics and behavioural science for which you don’t need the IoT or hardware.”

Read the rest of our panel discussion on the Internet of Things here: Is there a future for energy suppliers? (members only)

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