Microsoft and Shell have teamed up on a pilot program that aims to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into gasoline stations, beginning in Thailand and Singapore. Digital cameras along with a device running Microsoft’s Azure IoT Edge platform are installed in the stations to determine individuals that smoke at the site.
Microsoft's research team also shared the new project on Twitter:
In a pilot project using #AI & the #edge, @Shell is identifying #safety risks in its gas stations, like smokers at the gas pump, which will alert the manager to shut the pump down: https://t.co/Yp7uBQfep1 pic.twitter.com/NE3bSluyLg— Microsoft Research (@MSFTResearch) September 24, 2018
The digital cameras work to transmit frames that contain images of cigarettes to Microsoft Azure. The cloud platform then uses AI to identify a smoking person and then notify the station manager of the situation.
Daniel Jeavons, general manager for data science at Shell, said:
Each of our retail locations has maybe six cameras and captures something in the region of 200 megabytes per second of data. If you try to load all that into the cloud, that quickly becomes vastly unmanageable at scale. The intelligent edge allows us to be selective about the data we pass up to the cloud.
Shell also plans to incorporate an AI system called Shell AI Platform into its other sites such as offshore drilling sites, production centers, and oil refineries. Microsoft and Shell are also collaborating on a project meant to improve the way horizontal wells drilling is performed using AI.
Beyond its physical wells, pipelines, and plants, Shell also wants to enhance internal communications for its teams to help employees across the organization engage with each other and share information using tools available as part of Microsoft Office 365: Yammer, Stream, and SharePoint Online.
Microsoft's AI partnership with Shell is just one of the many initiatives the software giant has launched as part of its goal to bring intelligent systems to almost every industry.