In honour of Earth Month, we take a look at how artificial intelligence (AI) is helping people, businesses, and governments become more sustainable. With climate change at the forefront of many discussions, AI is proving to be a transformative technology that can bring meaningful and positive change to societies around the world.
Here are five ways that AI is being used to reduce emissions, protect nature, and build cleaner environments:
Firstly, AI is helping communities predict and prepare for natural disasters. AI can predict the trajectory of hurricanes, typhoons, and floods, allowing for forecasts and advice on how to stay safe on SOS Alerts and Maps. By combining satellite imagery with AI analysis, rescue organizations can quickly identify which areas need help after a disaster has struck.
Secondly, AI is helping to recover global wildlife populations. Wildlife Insights uses AI to analyze and classify camera trap photos, allowing conservationists to better track, understand, and share insights on wildlife populations.
Thirdly, the fashion industry is using Global Fibre Impact Explorer, a tool built in partnership with Stella McCartney, NGIS, Textile Exchange, and WWF Sweden, to give companies the data they need to make more sustainable sourcing decisions.
Fourthly, AI is helping cities prepare for extreme heat. Tree Canopy, part of Environmental Insights Explorer, uses aerial imagery and AI to help local authorities identify heat islands and plan tree coverage to combat them.
Finally, AI is giving people more sustainable options. Google Maps uses AI to give the best walking or cycling routes and suggest the most fuel-efficient routes for driving. For electric vehicle drivers with Google built-in, AI recommends the best charging stop based on factors like current traffic, charge level, and expected consumption. Nest Thermostats have saved over 120 billion kWh of energy by using AI to learn user schedules and adjust the heat accordingly.
As AI continues to develop, it has the potential to make significant strides towards a more sustainable future. These are just a few examples of how AI is being used to combat the effects of climate change and create a more sustainable world.