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AI and the environment: innovative solutions to environmental challenges

06:06 PM Apr 25, 2023 IST | Apoorva
ai and the environment  innovative solutions to environmental challenges

As the world grapples with the growing impact of climate change, artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging as a powerful tool to help address the challenges facing the planet. From reducing carbon emissions to protecting wildlife and ecosystems, AI has the potential to transform the way we approach environmental issues.

Uses

Here are some examples of AI-driven solutions that are making a difference:

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Guarding the Forests: AI-powered ‘guardians’ are being used to fight illegal logging and prevent deforestation. These devices listen to the sounds of the forest and use machine learning to detect the sounds of chainsaws and trucks, alerting authorities in real time. With almost 600 guardians installed in 35 countries, they have collected over 107 million minutes of audio data, covering over 400,000 hectares of land.

Reducing Carbon Footprints: US company Fero Labs is using AI-driven optimization software to reduce the amount of mined ingredients used in steel production, such as alloys. By learning from historical data, the software recommends the minimum amount of new material needed, if any. Thereby reducing the carbon footprint of the steel industry. Fero Labs has worked with five American steel plants, preventing an estimated 450,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

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Cutting Energy Waste: The Neuron app, developed by design firm Arup, is helping to reduce energy waste in Hong Kong’s commercial buildings. Using 5G and Internet of Things sensors, the app gathers real-time data from a building’s energy management system. Using an algorithm to analyze this data, the app optimizes the heating and cooling system and makes predictions for the building’s future energy demand. This results in energy savings of 10-30% in a typical commercial building.

Fighting Poaching: Rouxcel Technology has developed an AI-enabled bracelet that helps combat poaching and habitat destruction, which have caused rhino numbers to dwindle to endangered levels. The bracelets fit around rhinos’ ankles and use machine learning algorithms to monitor their movements and alert conservation teams when they exhibit abnormal behavior.

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Smart Farming: Agvolution’s innovative system uses solar-powered sensors and machine-learning algorithms to monitor crops and make recommendations on water usage and fertilizer application, resulting in increased efficiency and higher yields. With agriculture contributing to global CO2 emissions and water use, AI-powered farming offers a promising path toward sustainable food production.

Forecasting Solar Power: Open Climate Fix, a nonprofit organization, is working with the UK’s National Grid to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels as generation reserves when the solar power supply is affected by clouds. Using AI, the organization develops precise cloud forecasting models to help grid operators better balance the grid and prevent blackouts.

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Conclusion

These examples demonstrate how AI tools can be used to tackle environmental challenges and promote sustainable development. By analyzing large amounts of data from various sources, AI algorithms can identify patterns and provide insights that can inform better environmental management practices. They can help reduce waste, improve energy efficiency, and enable more sustainable use of resources. Furthermore, AI tools can be deployed in remote and hard-to-reach areas, helping to monitor and protect wildlife and ecosystems. As the world faces mounting environmental challenges, AI offers a powerful tool to help us meet these challenges and build a more sustainable future.

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