Would you leave climate change to AI?
At this point, we might… (And that worries us).
The fact is, Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has become a significant player in our daily lives. While AI is yet to achieve its full potential, it is still working to make human life much easier.
For example, during the height of the pandemic, AI helped to keep things going. Businesses used AI to reach consumers, organizations used AI-powered apps to communicate and get the work done, students were educated with AI-driven apps, and governments found vaccination solutions with AI.
AI For Social Good?
Now, a debate has emerged concerning AI for social good. Especially as humanity continues to face grave challenges, including Climate Change:
There are popular conspiracy theories that AI will take over humanity once it reaches its full potential. Such ideas are spread with the help of media and the entertainment industry. Examples could be found in movies such as Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Matrix, and many others. Not to mention Elon Musk’s grave warning:
Possibilities And Real Examples
These conspiracy theories undermine the fact that AI could help humanity in fighting challenges faced by the whole planet. For example:
- AI can help in better climate prediction by processing the data and making logical assumptions out of it.
- Paleoclimatology can use AI to predict extreme weather conditions so that precautionary measures could be taken to avoid destruction.
- AI algorithms can empower authorities to get a better insight into the complex climate patterns and changes in oceans, land, and atmosphere.
- AI can be used as a tool to measure carbon patterns.
- Monitoring coal plants’ emissions with the help of satellite imagery can identify the carbon hotspots so that the authorities could take necessary measures to limit the emission.
- AI can be applied to monitor crop yielding which will eventually reduce the need for chemicals and extensive water. Patterns could help curb food waste which is also an emerging challenge.
There are countless live examples of AI helping Earth and humanity:
- In India, farmers are using AI to help them in the cultivation of crops by identifying the right amount of fertilizers and choosing sowing dates.
- Norway is using AI to create a flexible and automatic electric grid providing renewable energy.
- An independent Carbon Tracker is already working on a system that will use AI to identify carbon emissions.
Experts believe that AI could help to reduce the global greenhouse emission to 4 percent. And we all know knowledge is the best weapon humanity has against Climate Change.
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AI For Climate Change
AI has many opportunities that can help us to fight climate change but we are afraid to use them. The picture of the future with robots leading the world and humans as their slaves is a genuine barrier in the way of using AI to its full potential.
There is a need to look at the future from a different perspective, one that is not inspired by comic book fiction, but rather by facts and figures:
Technology has already made human life easier as evident by the fact that it helps to run things smoothly even during a global pandemic. And this is why it is likely time to leave Climate Change to AI.