James Crouch



Track A: FED Energy

Session A3: Energy Security

September 27, 2024 | 10:30 am - 11:00 am

Using AI to Protect Critical Infrastructure from Nefarious Counterfeit Microelectronics

More than 30% of all integrated circuits in circulation today are counterfeit. Not only are these parts often of inferior quality, but many contain malware from foreign adversaries and domestic criminals. Unfortunately, many of these circuits have made their way into existing critical infrastructure – including utility equipment – and continue to infect the supply chain in various energy and equipment industries. In the event of an international incident or the outbreak of war, experts believe the entire American grid could be sidelined for 3-12 months. New technologies, including artificial intelligence, are seeking to solve this issue through rapid identification. This presentation will outline the types of counterfeit electronic parts, the current threat landscape, and how breakthroughs in AI can play a crucial role in battling the threats posed by the flood of counterfeit in utility and HVAC OEM supply chain.

Speaker Bio

James Crouch personally built and/or led development on more than 200 software applications during a 20-year career in Artificial Intelligence / Computer Vision (AI/CV) and IT. Notably, one of his apps was so well received that he was invited to share the stage with Steve Jobs to demo the product at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in 2008 when Jobs launched the App Store - in other words, Crouch was personally chosen by the legendary Apple co-founder to introduce the world to the concept of a mobile app.

His high-quality software products led directly to his prior company being acquired by Epocrates, and after leading the rewrite of Epocrates’ flagship product, they were acquired by Athenahealth. Since joining EMPEQ as its CTO, he performed a much-heralded technical rebuild of its Fast Site Survey product and led research and development on "EMPEQ Sentry" – a mobile app utilized by the U.S. Air Force to detect counterfeit microelectronics using photographs.