PTISep 26, 2017 07:45:57 IST
Scientists have developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) system that can detect electricity theft and meter misreadings - a common problem in developing countries. Electricity theft is a huge problem, some countries see as much as 40 per cent of their supply siphoned off largely by users who have tampered with meters, researchers said. A team from University of Luxembourg looked at the energy use of 3.6 million Brazilian households over five years.
The researchers specifically focused on nearly 200 million monthly readings made by professional meter readers. They then developed an algorithm that, after sifting through the readings, could recognise when energy use at a property was suspiciously low. Researchers verified their results with data on past inspections, checking if their tool was correctly highlighting potential cases of fraud or faulty metering.
The most accurate versions of the system were able to identify problem cases just over 65 per cent of the time, New Scientist reported. "This could help better target physical inspections of properties, which cost time and money and can also be dangerous," researchers said. "It could also offer insights for electricity suppliers elsewhere seeking to do a better job of reading your meter," they added.
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