Perhaps that’s why I’m so fascinated by the intersection of artificial intelligence and sustainability: the applications being made possible by breakthroughs in machine learning, image recognition, analytics and sensors are profoundly practical.
In many instances, the combination of these technologies completely could transform familiar systems and approaches used by the environmental and sustainability communities, making them far smarter with far less human intervention.
Except what researcher has the time or bandwidth to analyze thousands, let alone millions, of images? Enter systems such as Wildlife Insights, a collaboration between Google Earth and seven organizations, led by Conservation International.
Second, we must view these systems as part of the overall solution, not replacements for human workers.
As IBM’s vice president of AI research, Sriram Raghavan, puts it: “New research from the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab shows that AI will increasingly help us with tasks such as scheduling, but will have a less direct impact on jobs that require skills such as design expertise and industrial strategy. Expect workers in 2020 to begin seeing these effects as AI makes its way into workplaces around the world; employers have to start adapting job roles, while employees should focus on expanding their skills.”
Where will AI-enabled applications really make a difference for environmental and corporate sustainability? Here are five areas where I believe AI will have an especially dramatic impact over the next decade.
The intelligence behind the system comes from Taranis, which uses AI to monitor and analyze aerial imagery.
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