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Blog March 2023 Updated July 2023

How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Benefits Materials Management

Most discussions about AI in the past few months are around generative #AI such as #ChatGPT and #DallE2. However, there are many other applications of AI, including in the resource management area.

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Conor Dowd

AMCS Global Head of Marketing

On January 24, 2023 SWEEP and AMCS held an online discussion entitled “How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Benefits Materials Management.” Here are some key reflections about AI in the waste and recycling industry from that discussion.  If you want to watch the entire session, you can access it here. In the last part of the recording, SWEEP Acting Executive Director, Natasha Dyer, discusses innovation in the SWEEP standard. SWEEP is the only comprehensive national voluntary sustainability standard for the solid waste management industry.

Computer Vision Artificial Intelligence in everyday life

Visual use of AI is already around us in many areas. From the metaverse in gaming, social, and medical applications to the nascent and growing use of autonomous car features.  Even in the analysis of sporting events and performance.

Computer vision AI is at the nexus of computing power, the capture of large image data sets, and the computational analysis of these images in a particular context to help humans make decisions and perform tasks more efficiently.

What does that have to do with AI automating the value chain in waste and recycling?

Various companies, including AMCS, are applying these technologies at various points in this value chain. From improving the collection of materials in the field (with on-truck technologies), to resource quality, to materials processing, to safety.  Specifically, visual AI systems can supplement existing resource management workflows:

  • Automation at the scale or truck
  • Accuracy and repeatability of processes that enhance human capabilities
  • Providing insights about the data collected
  • Creating action plans based on the data collected in an appropriate business context

There are many actual and possible applications that are planned, and deployed in our industry that impact traditional waste and recycling workflows and provide a quick positive return on investment. For example, AMCS Vision AI uses on-truck image collection and cloud-based AI analysis of bin overfills, contamination, and customer location. This allows actions, such as notifications, overage charges, or recommendations for larger bins at a site to be generated with greater consistency and accuracy. This can increase revenue, safety, and cleanliness.

We welcome you to review this interactive discussion in the SWEEP discussion recording, or learn more about AMCS Vision AI by watching this short animation.

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