IBM News
IBM News

Extracting the lifeblood of AI at ExxonMobil

“Data is the new oil.” The quote goes back to 2006, credited to mathematician Clive Humby. Gartner’s Peter Sondergaard took it a step further, calling analytics data’s combustion engine.

While Artificial Intelligence (AI) still has that “new car smell,” it needs clean data in its fuel lines. The utility of data as a driver of digital transformation and, ultimately, as a cleaner-burning fuel for AI projects, comes only when it’s analyzed or extracted into meaningful narratives about the past, present and future. Otherwise, it can sit around the business in silos—uncollected, unorganized like unrefined crude, clogging up multiple cloud storehouses and repositories.

A decade ago, with a Ph.D. in Physics from MIT, Xiaojun Huang was working as a seismic interpreter for ExxonMobil in the Gulf of Mexico, figuring out what less-explored areas might hold promise for oil discovery. Reflecting on that mentally-tedious process, she did a calculation and concluded that AI could have easily turned a grueling, year-long process of churning through 2D seismic maps, tectonic and historical data into a six-month play that would detail the potential payoff of new hydrocarbon fields…

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IBM News
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