Photo from Markus Spiske
As we continue to face the daunting challenge of climate change, it is imperative that we harness all of the resources available to us in order to combat this global crisis. Within the circles of AI (Artificial Intelligence) experts and other scientific communities, it is understood that most believe that we have not yet discovered the full potential of AI in this regard (WEF, 2021), but some also suggest that AI is the essential tool in this fight (BCG, 2022; WIRED, 2023). We at MI4People wanted to take a moment to share our thoughts on the potential usage of AI in mitigating the effects of climate change.
Since we are running out of time and solutions, it has become our moral obligation to use all the resources at our disposal to protect the planet and safeguard the future for generations to come. So why not explore the pathways opened with the help of AI. Although there are valid concerns about the environmental impact of AI itself, including the energy (EC, 2019) required to power large-scale computing systems and the mineral resources required to produce efficient chips (The Guardian, 2021)and parts of the computer. We believe that with responsible use and advancements in technology we can minimize these impacts and unlock the full potential of AI for climate change mitigation.
AI is uniquely positioned to help us address the causes and effects of climate change. With its ability to analyze data, identify patterns, and optimize complex systems, AI can help us find solutions effectively in fractions of time, by computing possible combinations of solutions or pathways such as quicker outcomes of R&D through AI and ML (Venturebeat, March 2023) by creating and running simulations rather than actual experimentations. It can perform the assigned tasks without any fatigue or demands even in the most remote or the most unusual of places. So why wouldn’t we put to work this easily implementable and simple tool.
Some of the real-world possibilities of AI to fight climate change can be as follows (Context, 2022, MIT Technology review, 2019; next-kraftwerke, 2022): In Energy sector (Smart grids, energy management systems, smart energy trading, etc.) supply chain and logistics sector (route optimization, predictive maintenance to reduce emissions, inventory optimization), urban planning (smart transportation system, waste management, etc.), forest protection (early warning systems, smart reforestation planning, etc.), sustainable farming (precision agriculture, soil analysis, crop monitoring, etc.). The possibilities are endless and unexplored. Therefore, by integrating AI into every industry of our society, we can create a more sustainable and resilient future for ourselves and for future generations.
As we have investigated the potential of AI in the context of the fight against climate change, some of our projects aim to create tools that would help with this fight. And we are committed to working collaboratively with climate change activists, policymakers, and other stakeholders to develop and deploy AI solutions that are effective, ethical, and sustainable. We recognize that AI is not a substitute for urgent action on climate change, but rather a complementary tool that can help us accelerate progress towards a more sustainable future.
We urge you to join us in this effort, whether by advocating for AI solutions in your own industry or contributing to organizations like MI4People that are working towards a plethora of tools aiming for a more sustainable future.
For example, we are currently running a project together with Alexander Thamm that aims in identification of marine litter using satellite imagery. Thereby, this consulting company not only provides us with the time of its employees but also recently transferred a generous donation to us! At this point we would like to thank Alexander Thamm a lot for their committed support! Our current collaboration is a great example of how commercial and nonprofit sectors can cooperate to solve urgent problems of this world.
We believe, together as a world society, we can harness the power of technology to create a better world for ourselves and for future generations. Thank you for your attention, and please feel free to reach out to us on LinkedIn if you have any questions or thoughts on this topic.