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Using Artificial Intelligence to make our Communities ‘Anti-Fragile’

The world has seen a series of unfortunate events in recent years. Most of the natural disasters dawn upon mankind in an unprecedented tone. 

It becomes awfully difficult to come in terms of the damage that these natural disasters do to human lives and resources.

The country is already fighting a survival-battle against COVID-19 and lamented events like Cyclone Amphan and Cyclone Nisarga doomed upon us.

Cyclone Amphan made landfall in the Eastern coastal regions of West Bengal and Odisha, leaving trails of immense damage.

The local residents were deprived of the most basic necessities for survival. Medical facilities were inaccessible due to flooded streets and no means of connectivity.

Situations like this highlight the immediate need for preparedness to prevent post-disaster consequences. There is a strong need to rise from this sense of vulnerability and making our communities anti-fragile.

Substitute for energy supplies is brought back or repaired quickly in the urban locations. Although, for many of the rural areas that are dependent on easily disrupted supply chains - it takes a long span of time before it is restored. A deliberate process of usability, availability, and security needs to be brought in the picture.

Utilities in today’s date are at a higher risk of extreme weather events. If we consider hurricane Irma that made a disastrous landfall in the Caribbean and Florida. Irma left the land with unfortunate damage of over $50 billion.

The risk of such hurricanes has only been on a constant rise since then.  44 power plants were in flooded areas in Hurricane Irene and 69 were in flooded areas in Hurricane Sandy. 

When Hurricane Harvey struck in Houston, more than 6,200 distribution poles and 850 transmission structures along with that, 21.4 gigawatts of generation were affected by wind damage, flooding damage, fuel supply issues, or evacuations and shutdowns.

These numbers are very concerning and we need better solutions to prevent further damage. This article reflects how artificial intelligence is a viable option that will potentially prevent massive loss of lives and resources while at the same time make rescue efforts easy and efficient.

Environmental degradation through climate change, increasing carbon footprint and other activities like deforestation are fueling the increasing risk of constant disasters. We cannot beat the occurrences that nature throws at us but, we can make our communities anti-fragile.

There’s still hope, the human intellect and ability to innovate through hardship is the silver lining in an increasingly gloomy sky.

Technology has an important role to play in providing the necessary situational awareness that then shapes crucial, practical, and life-saving decisions for effective crisis management.

With a mission to make our communities ‘anti-fragile’, Dr. Sayonsom Chanda invented a patent-pending technology that can predict how much time the common men and electric utility companies, have before a cyclone hits us and knocks the lights out. 

For electric utility companies, this data is critical - so they can keep their repair crew and inventory at strategic locations, so as to quickly facilitate the repairs and reduce the hours of darkness.

He strongly believes that the same technology can help everyone make plans for storing water, getting candles, emergency lamps, charge up phones. 

In the poorest parts of the country, the predicted data can inform NGOs or disaster-relief organizations about how much battery, phone chargers, emergency lamps, will be needed for distributions. 

It can also help villages and Block Development Offices by delivering a proper plan to supply generators to poor nursing homes and emergency homes in remote areas, and diesel operated pumps to keep their crucial agricultural activities on schedule. 

This ideology gave birth to a start-up company ‘Sync-Energy’ that is on a journey to make the world a safer and more secure place.

“If the roof is to fall on our heads, we need to know when and how - that way we can either fix it or buy the right helmets. I feel the same about climate change and the damages it is doing”, says Dr. Chanda, Chief Executive Officer, when asked why he started this company. 

Dr. Chanda co-founded Sync Energy with Robert Kabera, a Stanford University graduate and Forbes 30-under-30 entrepreneur from Rwanda, Africa. Robert, who himself survived the infamous 1994 genocide, deeply resonates with the problems of the changing world order. Recounting and reflecting from the horrors of his early childhood experiences of seeing mass destruction all around him, Mr. Kabera, COO of Sync Energy said, “At the very core, Sync Energy is solving the pain point of electricity disconnection due to disaster events, before the incidents occur. Our AI and ML platform seeks to make the electric grid anti-fragile and its operators, proactive. Anti-fragility: that’s our theme song for survival in the 21st century. We need to tell ourselves, we are not weak and we will not be wiped away.” 

We live in a world where investing in emergency utilities has become an alarming need of the hour. We need to leverage as much data and artificial intelligence as possible to prepare efficiently. 

At Sync, we believe that we cannot fight nature but, being prepared saves us from its wrath and unfortunate aftermath.

Amphan was an unprecedented disaster especially during a time where people were already battling a global pandemic. But, with predictive technologies, we can be prepared to save lives and resources during any future cyclones.

About the author: Kashti Mishra is an Indian author who writes primarily about current environmental and political affairs along with lifestyle blogs. She holds strong opinions and beliefs about the functions around us. You can reach out to her at

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About Sync Energy: It build breakthrough technologies to enhance the resiliency of the services of the electricity delivery industry - by putting human behavior at the heart of all problem solving. Sync Energy are pioneers in harnessing the power of human conversations into event predictions and forecasting for electric utilities.