WorldWide Drilling Resource

19 JANUARY 2022 WorldWide Drilling Resource® Storkson continued on page 28 When Automation Goes Horribly Wrong by Britt Storkson Owner, P2FlowLLC Like I’ve said many times before, automation is a wonderful thing when properly applied and tested. However, there are many examples of automation not only failing to do what it was expected to do, but also actively wasting huge amounts of time and money by their very existence. There is a plethora of cases illustrating this phenomenon, and one that really stands out is the Michigan Data Automated System, which was known by the acronym “MiDAS”. This is from the website entitled “When automation goes horribly wrong” and the book Humans vs. Computers by Gojko Adzic and very much a case of “computer overreach”. The MiDAS system was supposed to review unemployment claims for payment to determine which ones were fraudulent and which weren’t. This wasn’t a problem in and of itself. What was a problem was the computer was allowed to unilaterally bring legal collection actions against those it thought were “scamming” the system - without first being reviewed by a human. Even that wouldn’t have been a huge problem had it not been for the fact this computer system was wrong 92% of the time! The author notes that automating a process only makes it faster, not better. He also says automating a bad process makes it spiral out of control without any oversight. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve seen this general scenario repeated over and over in industry with the problems well-known and documented by those who had to work “with the system.” Or more correctly, “try and make the system work.” Soon after the equipment went online, the only unknown was how long management would take to pull the plug on the whole operation. For the bottom line perspective, the MiDAS system cost $40 million in 2013, the year it was brought online. It left in its wake a trail of damage and destruction that could easily top $400 million - Join over 200 Water Well Drillers, Pump Installers, Manufacturers and Suppliers, as well as Technical and Groundwater Professionals from Oklahoma for the 2022 OGWA Conference & Trade Show! 2022 OGWA Conference & Trade Show Event! on Back to our traditional in-pers We : January 5 , dnesday : January 6 , Thursday O J iversity! State o n us at klah nue! Ve New oi ma Un