The next big effort in AI: keeping L.A.’s water flowing post-earthquake

Gary Polakovic | September 26, 2019

Experts at the USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society are teaming with city officials to find technological solutions for aging, vulnerable pipelines.

Having clean water is a primary concern for Los Angeles residents after a major earthquake; USC researchers are working with city officials to improve vulnerable plumbing that could be damaged during a quake. (Photo/Matthew Gush, iStock)

Can artificial intelligence save the L.A. water supply from a big earthquake?

USC researchers have embarked on an innovative project to prove that it can. Using federal funds, experts at the USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society (CAIS) are working with Los Angeles city officials to find solutions for vulnerable plumbing. The goal is to make surgical improvements to strategic pipelines to keep water flowing after shaking stops.

“L.A.’s water pipes are highly susceptible to earthquakes,” said Bistra Dilkina, assistant professor of computer science at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and associate director of the CAIS. “The infrastructure is aging, and when the shaking starts, pipes break and damage propagates throughout the system. It’s a problem we’re trying to solve.”

Read the whole story on USC News.

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