How C3.ai uses AI for multi-industry digital transformation
Enterprise AI software provider C3.ai is a specialist in assisting companies with digital transformation.
Its C3 AI Suite allows for the construction of AI applications specifically built for enterprise. In-built AI applications include the likes of predictive maintenance, fraud detection, sensor network health, supply network optimisation, energy management, anti-money laundering and customer engagement, all of which are applicable across multiple industries.
Such industries include manufacturing, oil and gas, utilities, banking, aerospace and defence, healthcare, retail, telecommunications, smart cities and transportation.
C3.ai brings its expertise to bear on the manufacturing industry via data integration from enterprise systems, sensor networks and other external sources. Its machine learning models can then use that data to generate predictive insights into issues such as inventory stock reduction, waste elimination and the generation of economic value.
Applications relevant to the sector include inventory optimisation, predictive maintenance, energy management, sensor health and customer relationship management. Such applications can be applied to use cases such as the optimisation of supply networks, yields, prices and warranties.
Supply chains are notoriously complex beasts. Wrangling them is made easier with the application of AI, with the company’s solution having a transportation focus to improve fleet management. For transportation and logistics companies, C3 AI provides solutions in inventory management and optimisation, predictive fleet maintenance, path optimisation and AI-enhanced pricing.
C3.ai’s solution covers the entire spectrum from customers to pickup to transport and delivery. Using sensors attached to their fleets of vehicles, costumes can use the C3.ai suite to gain improved insight and make better decisions from maintenance to route planning.
When it comes to the healthcare sector, C3.ai’s AI Suite has the goal of improving health outcomes and the patient experience while reducing the cost of care. The C3 AI suite has applicable functions in such areas as patient engagement, early disease detection, addiction prevention, healthcare fraud detection and clinical workforce optimisation.
The solution can predict the failure of crucial sensors, vital in the healthcare environment. Aside from sensors, data useful to the solution stems from sources such as clinical, claims, pharma trials and EMR.
C3.ai offers solutions in both the utilities and oil and gas industries. For the former, its offering focuses on the enhancement of grid asset management and forecasting systems, as well as boosting energy efficiency. For the latter, the company’s suite has capabilities in crucial areas such as improving reliability and safety while optimising production.
In the banking sector, the wealth of data available allows C3.ai to offer services to improve operational efficiency, increase customer engagement and mitigate risk. Aggregating multiple data sources into its machine learning models, customers gain access to predictive insights while being aided in their compliance.
From the analysis of pricing and promotion to liquidity management, asset pricing, the optimisation of securities lending, anti-money laundering and trade surveillance, C3.ai offers a comprehensive range of applications and use cases.
To find out more about C3.ai, head over to the C3.ai website.
Video and image source: C3.ai
Tech Corporations Fight for Alternative ESG Filings
In 2021, almost a third of global equity inflow went into ESG funds, according to the Bank of America. In April alone, ESG assets hit US$1.4tn, growing at 3x the rate of non-ESG funds. And although it seems like solar panel and electric car firms should take the cake for sustainable investment, it’s actually the world’s largest tech firms that command the market.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the most commonly held S&P 500 stocks in actively managed sustainable equity funds include Microsoft, Alphabet, and Apple. So it struck many as odd that in a June 11th letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Alphabet requested that ESG information not be disclosed in annual 10k filings.
Who Signed The Letter?
Only some of the most influential tech giants in the world...
To be fair, these companies aren’t against ESG and sustainable business. ‘Collectively, we purchase more than 21 gigawatts of clean energy and many of us are members of the UN Race to Zero and America is All In campaigns’, the joint letter to the SEC stated. ‘Each company has an individual goal to procure 100% renewable energy’.
Then Why Protest?
According to the tech companies, filing ESG information might open them up to legal risks. After all, sustainability reporting relies on estimates and assumptions that involve uncertainty—and governance issues such as fair labour are much harder to track than annual financial data. ‘It is important not to subject companies to undue liability’, the companies wrote.
Instead of reporting ESG data in their annual 10k filings, Alphabet et. al suggest that the SEC should allow for new climate-related reporting outside of the current annual or quarterly schedules. By adjusting the reporting frequency and timing, they argue, companies can provide a better and more accurate measure of how they’re doing with ESG.
Who Opposes Alternative ESG Reporting?
For the most part, asset managers aren’t thrilled. Pimco, Invesco, and other major asset funds want ESG information disclosed—the standard way. As of right now, the SEC still intends to make ESG 10k filings mandatory. ‘[Alphabet] positions itself as a sustainability leader’, said Josh Zinner, CEO of the Interfaith Centre on Corporate Responsibility. Added Molly Betounray, Director of Shareholder Advocacy at Clean Yield Asset Management: ‘While it’s great to see corporate ESG leaders advocating for climate disclosure standards, we disagree with their assertion that these disclosures should fall outside current standard SEC filings’.
What’s the Verdict?
Maybe Alphabet, Amazon, and Intel are honestly trying to frame ESG reporting in a new light. As Patrick Flynn, Vice President for Sustainability at Salesforce said: ‘[ESG disclosure] is a new process for companies to go through, and they’ll need to establish new procedures. Allowing for some sort of safe harbour from liability…[allows] companies to push in willingly and not just do the bare minimum’.
In their letter to the SEC, these companies chose to recommend several concrete actions:
- Use a principles-based framework, akin to the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
- Base GHG emissions on global standards, such as the World Resources Institute GHG Protocol
- Leverage existing SEC frameworks to reduce the reporting burden
- Adjust the timing and frequency of ESG reporting
In short: before we mandate ESG reporting, the SEC should at least think twice about how to design it.