The Four Steps to Combating Climate Change With AI (Part II)
By recognizing and unlocking the potential of artificial intelligence tools at our disposal, we can address the climate crisis the world faces.
Climate change mitigation will require the best of our people, virtues, and tools.
By keeping environmental, social and economic sustainability as the new cornerstones for the development of artificial intelligence, AI can provide the fundamental shift in our approach to sustainability needed to save the planet.
Here’s how AI can help us in our ‘green’ endeavor.
Making Things Simpler and More Efficient
Our technology isn’t perfect. Most of our tools designed to make our lives better are neither as effective at performing their designated functions nor are they efficient—but here is where diligently designed artificial intelligence systems can help.
An estimated 54% of energy in the supply of electricity is wasted in the UK, accounting for an astounding loss of £9.5 billion—before it even reaches residences and businesses.
Research on model-based predictive control (MPC) artificial intelligence systems suggests that by using AI to compute, monitor, and manage energy consumption, energy efficiency can be improved by 10.2% to over 40%.
Moreover, artificial intelligence systems can automate mundane and laborious tasks to save human effort—reducing the underlying requirement of expending human effort considerably.
Paving Way for Progress
Finally, future artificial intelligence technology must be developed in cognizance of its environmental implications and sustainable development goals.
The SDG13 states that we as a collective must “take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”, therefore, the technology we develop must also reflect our broader goals.
The integration of AI technology in research will uncover prospects limited only by our imagination. Researchers are investigating the potential application of machine learning in wildlife conservation, flora and fauna identification and to mitigate other threats to wildlife such as poaching. While relatively recent, the prospects look more promising than ever before.
If we’re led by the right people, equipped with the right tools, and guided by the right values, climate change is a challenge that can be addressed.
The time is ripe to make our tools work for us, and for us all.
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