Uses of AI: how artificial intelligence can tackle climate change
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is responsible for a lot of changes in the way we perceive technology and lifestyle. Development in the field of AI and Machine Learning (ML) is promising, with applications that are continuously redefining the way we interact with our devices, people, and the planet.
An Overview of the Uses of AI
Reportedly, only 33% of users are fully aware of their interactions with AI. But AI has been propelled out of research labs and into our everyday lives since the 1950s, when Alan Turing himself automated the game of chess, which later served as the foundation to the triumph of machines over world-class chess champions. Turing’s invention was 6 years prior to the term Artificial Intelligence being used to describe a machine’s cognitive and reasoning ability.
Subsequently, in 1951 when researchers Allen Newell and Herbert Simon introduced a smart machine called Ferranti Mark 1, they mastered the game of checkers and received global applause. Since then, continuous development in AI has received widespread recognition, and the technology has evolved with practical applications to everyday life. Today, everyone with a smartphone uses AI in some form.
Users on social media like Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube mingle with AI algorithms every day. Tailored video suggestions are one example of AI’s everyday uses we’re all familiar with. Google Maps uses AI and ML to change colors when you pass through a tunnel, or to predict the traffic on route. Search engine ads use AI to target consumer patterns. Healthcare uses AI and ML to discover medical combinations and to perform advanced medical imaging for diagnosis. Agriculture uses AI to predict various outcomes related to soil fertility and weather conditions. Automotive industries like Tesla use AI to make self-driving cars. The applications of AI are limitless.
The use of AI for enterprise IT has risen exponentially over the years. AI-powered apps are solving real world problems faced by organizations the people. Governments use AI to regulate traffic, process social data, prepare for disasters, track economic activity and more. Financial services use AI to tailor new products based on predicting the emerging market trends. The use of AI in customer services has given rise to conversational bots and intelligent IVRs that are almost human in their conduct. AI algorithms are everywhere, and the benefits are many.
In this post we’re going to delve into the lifesaving impacts of AI for Environmental Intelligence. AI is used by environmental intelligence to tackle key issues like climate change and carbon emissions, bringing humanity one step closer to our sustainability goals.
Why AI for Environmental Intelligence?
In the early 2000s everyone started to see the business value of AI. New algorithms, new additions and ground-breaking research is making AI smarter and smarter – a result of continuous innovation. As AI grows in power and begins to automate various processes, the impact and use cases of AI are getting broader. Some of the risks associated with AI include unsolved issues like bias, job losses, less transparency, and the malevolent uses of AI like autonomous weapons.
But the rise of AI faces a deeper challenge, to go beyond “human friendly AI” and to reach “Earth friendly AI.” As the urgency to respond to social, economic and health impacts at scale increases, AI can transform the problem of our deteriorating environmental conditions. We now have a chance to transform legacy systems and traditional methods to address key issues like sustainable food and water shortages, inadequate urban planning, loss of biodiversity, climate change and direct focus to overall human welfare.
AI paired with data sciences can help find patterns to reduce the carbon footprint, and that’s just the beginning to a long list of how Environmental Intelligence uses AI and ML.
According to a study by PWC for Microsoft, AI technologies could curb global greenhouse gas emissions by 4% by 2030.
The list of benefits of AI used in Environmental Intelligence extends to various sectors and across diverse verticals.
6 Remarkable Ways AI Can Battle Climate Change
According to the World Economic Forum, the AI contribution to the global economy will be $15.7 trillion by the year 2030, which is a 26% increment in the average global GDP during the forecasted period.
With the rising demand for AI across industries, Environmental Intelligence is also driving the demand with sustainable solutions to modern day challenges.
Let’s explore 6 ways Environmental Intelligence uses AI to tackle climate change.
1. Smart transportation like autonomous and electric vehicles
AI-powered autonomous vehicles (AVs) are driving a transition from high-carbon emission means of transportation to sustainable means of mobility on-demand. By reducing the greenhouse gases emitted by fossil fuels, urban transportation can be managed efficiently via eco-driving algorithms, traffic optimization, autonomous public transport, etc. Electric vehicles used as a substitute for fossil fuel run automobiles will deliver real results in curbing carbon emissions and tackling global warming.
2. Energy efficient energy grids
AI boosts the ability to predict the supply and demand for renewables using distributed energy efficient power grids. By improving the efficiency of load management, energy storage mechanisms, integration of renewable sources of energy, and dynamic energy trade, the distribution and management of resources becomes more streamlined. Advancement in the field of renewables are a direct result of AI powered equipment to identify and employ climate conscious strategies.
3. Smart food systems and agricultural activity
AI-driven agriculture utilizes automated data collection mechanisms, corrective actions, predictive analysis, and core decision making functions with robotics. This enables advancements in assessing soil fertility, livestock nutrition, crop disease control, and improves the efficiency of resources used in the agricultural industry. The smart use of land, lowered use of water and fertilizers will help preserve natural ecosystems while yielding a good harvest year-round. AI also helps identify genetic makeups that help crops withstand pests and extreme climate conditions.
4. Weather forecasting and analysis of climate trends
Climate informatics is a field powered by AI that uses technology to improve weather forecasting and our general understanding of the impacts of climate change. Deep learning networks enable energy efficient computing resources to run AI algorithms and climate data faster and in real-time. This helps us understand the nature of climate trends and calculations better.
By lowering research costs to improve scientific outcomes by accelerating new discoveries, AI will help predict extreme weather conditions using advanced data modelling approaches.
5. Efficient disaster response systems
Through real time data analysis, AI can study large sets of data from multiple sources to calculate extreme weather events beforehand. By studying the nature of climate trends and assessing vulnerabilities in certain areas, AI can help create a more agile disaster response system. Through early warnings, simulations and emergency information, AI algorithms can identify optimal strategies for disaster response. This is like the way AI is used in the video game AlphaGo to identify and use the best move.
6. Smart interconnected cities designed with AI
Artificial Intelligence has the amazing ability to simulate and generate zoning laws, building plans, urban infrastructure, sewage control, floodplains and more. Merged with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), people can construct the most efficient cities that are interconnected with technology. Real-time data about energy consumption, water usage, traffic data, carbon emissions, social demographics and weather conditions can be studied to improve the quality of life in cities. AI in Environmental Intelligence holds the key to sustainable urban planning and interconnected living.
The applications of AI in Environmental Intelligence are on the rise, and this is due to the global attention to time-critical issues like climate change.
The future is safer with AI and ML
By leveraging highly advanced AI and ML uses, governments and technologists can bring sustainable goals one step closer. Industries can leverage the uses of AI to create more functional and automated ways to manage resources. Numerous organizations are already implementing AI technologies to battle climate change, like the uses of AI & ML mentioned above. Companies like Google, Microsoft and IBM are some of the technology pioneers using AI for Environmental Intelligence.
In the coming years, AI is expected to drive a positive change, and create awareness about the need for sustainable initiatives across industries and geographies.
AI brings new hope to preserving biodiversity and restoring habitats across the world. But there’s way more to the technology and its applications.
Business longevity is met when IT facilitates system changes required to compete and thrive as a leader in industry. I write about digital assets and how businesses can leverage capabilities of AI, cloud and edge computing for strategic transformation.
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