Hey Alexa…is there a problem with my water? Hey Alexa…give me some advice on saving water?
Although slightly terrifying, Artificial Intelligence can be used for good! And we are doing just that by working to develop skills that will allow customers to fire water related questions at their Alexa AI system, used as part of the Amazon Echo home products, to get it to do things like check their account or find out if there is a supply problem in their area.
Led by 19-year-old Degree Apprentice Mark Ireland, working alongside Head of Strategy and Enterprise Architecture Martin Jackson, the idea to develop the skills came out of the NWG Innovation Festival′s Tomorrow′s World activity, run in partnership with CGI Group.
These ‘Skills′ might seem gimmicky at the minute but advancements in SMART homes of the future mean that it could be a part of everyday life for customers in the future, and we want to be leading the way!
Nigel Watson, Group Director of Information Services, said: "This first-of-its kind festival was all about pushing the industry forward. Breaking the rules, thinking outside of the box and taking ‘normal′ and ‘everyday′ out of the equation.
"We are committed to being the best water company in the country and a huge part of that is about leading the way. Being the most innovate and forward thinking organisation that we can be is just that and so the innovation festival was born.
"The festival was jam packed full of fantastic ideas and creations, some of which may take some time to come to fruition, but we are really excited that the Moss Tree, our work to reduce leakage, and the development of our AI applications will soon be out there and making an impact on the world.
"The Moss Tree is really exciting, because it not only has the potential to reduce pollution, but it can also gather data that can inform further advances in cleaning up the air in our cities. Newcastle will love it.
"And with AI technology, such as Alexa, Cortana and Siri becoming a part of life in homes across the world, it makes great sense to be looking at how we can use that to make life easier for some of our customers.
"All of this is being made possible by us having brought 140 organisations together at the NWG Innovation Festival in 2017 and giving them free rein to come up with ideas. Nobody has all of the answers to every question, and collaboration like this is the way to deliver real innovation that makes an impact on lives and our environment."