Shell Counts on Artificial-Intelligence and Machine Learning

Shell Counts on Artificial-Intelligence and Machine Learning

Shell is aiming to enroll thousands in Online Artificial-Intelligence training. Shell is a facility in Russia, Torzhok. The oil company is saying that from 82,000 employees, 2,000 have expressed interest in or have been approached about taking artificial intelligence courses through online education company Udacity.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC is expanding an online program teaching its employees’ artificial intelligence skills. Thus, it is part of an effort to generate revenue, improve business processes, and cut costs.

Shell is an Anglo-Dutch oil company. It has 82,000 employees. The company said around 2,000 employees have been approached by management or expressed interest in taking Artificial Intelligence courses through online education company Udacity Inc. They include petroleum engineers, geophysicists, and chemists, among others.

Shell said the courses are voluntary, and employees can complete them at their own pace during work hours. The oil company is covering the training cost.

Shell has a broader strategy for the embed artificial intelligence across its operations. The move already helped the oil giant lower costs and avoid downtime. Moreover, other oil-and-gas companies tapping artificial intelligence to improve services and reduce costs include Chevron Corp., BP PLC, and Exxon Mobil Corp.

Yuri Sebregts is Shell’s chief technology officer. He said in an email, artificial intelligence enables them to process the vast quantity of data across their businesses for generating new insights, which will keep them ahead of the competition.


The initiative at Shell is expanding a 2019 yearlong pilot program with Udacity, based in Mountain View, Calif. It includes about 250 shell software engineers and data scientists. They picked up artificial intelligence skills such as reinforcement learning, which is a type of machine learning.  In that type, algorithms are learning the correct way of acting based on trial-and-error and observations.

Artificial Intelligence

For example, Shell employees could use artificial intelligence expertise for predicting equipment failures and automatically identifying areas within a facility reducing carbon emissions. Dan Jeavons is Shell’s general manager of data science. Machine-learning algorithms can also help Shell with the bettering process of seismic data. Moreover, it can help to better data concerning geological rock formations underground. It can ultimately speed up the time it takes to assess decisions concerning where to drill.

Mr. Jeavons said technology is moving so quickly so if you don’t continually train your people, you will get out of date.

Nevertheless, the company does not say how much it spends on training. Nevertheless, Mr. Jeavons says it is a strategic and material investment.

Businesses are paying for Udacity courses under an annual model of software licensing. Prices are dependent on the customization and length of the course. Shell employees’ classes are pursuing dubbed “nano degrees.” On average, it costs $400 a month when individual consumers purchase them. Gabe Dalporto is Udacity Chief Executive. He said the company is declining to disclose its enterprise price structure.

All in all, for Udacity, it is expected to be the most significant year. They are paying close attention to artificial intelligence development.  Let us see how deep machine learning will support the company.