The Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) and Canadian petroleum company Imperial this week announced a two-year agreement to collaborate on the development of Imperial’s machine learning capabilities.
An EY study has suggested the oil and gas sector is “ripe” for AI and ML opportunity.
The partners are planning to conduct a series of applied AI projects, through which Imperial will work to create more efficient ways to obtain oil and gas resources, decrease environmental impacts, and improve workforce safety. Amii will be responsible for offering business guidance and scientific mentorship to Imperial.
“At Imperial, we are taking action to be a leader in advancing digital and AI technology across the value chain,” said John Whelan, Imperial’s senior vice president of upstream. “Amii is not only a leader in the AI space globally, but based locally in Alberta. We believe the institute is a perfect partner to help us showcase Alberta’s leadership in technology and digital solutions for responsibly-produced oil and gas.”
A report from Ernst & Young found that Canada’s oil and gas sector has invested proportionally less on digital and AI-related technologies in the last decade compared with other sectors, such as banking, automotive, health care, retail and consumer products, and software, mostly due to the perception of risk.
That same study found that the sector is “ripe” for AI/ML opportunity, but one of the key challenges for C-suite executives will be creating the organizational infrastructure and models to allow such technologies to be successful.
Amii, founded in 2002, focuses on guiding local businesses in building their in-house AI capabilities. The institute works jointly with the University of Alberta to research specific topics in machine intelligence. Amii receives support from the University of Alberta, Alberta Innovates, the Government of Alberta, and the Government of Canada, through the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy.
Earlier this month, Amii launched Amii Innovates its program designed to guides teams and businesses in AI adoption. Imperial was named in this first cohort of businesses. Amii Innovates comprises four core offerings: a machine intelligence roadmap, project validation, advisory and mentorship, and research support.
Through this project, Amii’s experts also will help define and validate machine learning opportunities and provide assistance with applied projects, as well as connections to the newest relevant AI research. The institute will also help Imperial attract and develop its technical teams with a focus on improving the skills of current workers.
“Imperial is an ideal member for our Amii Innovates program,” said John Shillington, president and CEO of Amii. “Not only do they have a strong commitment to driving innovation in the oil and gas sector, but they’re also focused on growing their internal AI capabilities and teams right here in Alberta.”