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5 ways AI is helping the planet

Artificial intelligence tends to have a bad rap, but has the very real possibility of facilitating incredible change! Let's dive in and explore 5 ways AI is being utilised to benefit our planet and humanity one algorithm at a time...


AI tech for good pink

Once upon a time, Artificial Intelligence was the stuff of fantastical sci-fi fodder. Now, you’d be hard-pressed to not come across any mention of it on a given day as it’s now integrally ever-present in our day-to-day lives. From automating our routine and time-consuming tasks, all the way to ChatGPT generating a never-before-seen Snoop Dogg verse, there’s no going back now.

(For anyone curious about the aforementioned verse that was churned out…)

“I’m the Doggfather of this AI game, Spittin’ lines that ignite the hip-hop flame. I bring the funk, the rhythm, and the flow, Snoop Dogg and AI, unstoppable combo”

If D-O Double G and robot collab like this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

But there’s more to AI than the threat to our jobs, or wax lyrical  – it’s far from being just a sci-fi spectacle or a distant fantasy. It’s a tangible force that’s poised to create some genuine impact. Think of it as a versatile tool that could give our planet a significant boost.

AI isn’t just about complex algorithms and crunching numbers, it’s about aligning with nature and being a force to facilitate some incredible change! From optimising our energy consumption to partnering with conservationists, AI’s got some impressive capabilities and these capabilities are all about steering us toward a more sustainable future.

Let’s dive in and explore 5 incredible ways AI is being utilised to benefit our planet and humanity one algorithm at a time…

The concerns and the potential

AI isn’t all rainbows and unicorns.

Sure, it’s the technological solution du jour, but let’s face it, it’s not without its share of concerns. AI is in the spotlight, and not always in the best of light. There’s this recurring theme in movies and shows where AI is the ultimate villain, all set to turn our lives into a dystopian nightmare. Big Brother is watching and AI is at the epicenter.

AI is in its infancy, with issues like racial bias and lack of regulation being an immediate concern, people are scared because they worry that it could cause problems or harm to our lives. Here are a few reasons why users fear an Orwellian outcome:

  1. Taking away jobs: People are afraid that AI might replace human workers in many industries, leading to unemployment and financial difficulties for many people.
  2. Losing control: AI systems can make decisions on their own, based on lots of information and complex calculations. This lack of control can make people feel uneasy because they don’t know how AI will make decisions that affect their lives.
  3. Ethical problems: AI can face situations where it has to make ethical choices. People worry that AI may not always make decisions that align with human values, leading to unintended consequences or moral dilemmas.
  4. Privacy and security: AI often needs personal information to work effectively. People are afraid that AI systems could be misused, hacked, or invade their privacy, leading to identity theft or unwanted surveillance.
  5. Unintended mistakes: AI learns from patterns and data, but sometimes it can make mistakes or produce unfair results because of biased information or flawed algorithms. People fear that AI might amplify existing biases or make decisions that are unfair or harmful.
  6. Superintelligence: Some people are worried about the idea of AI becoming much smarter than humans. They fear that if AI becomes too powerful, it could become uncontrollable or even hostile, and they don’t trust that Will Smith is up to scratch to save us from an army of power-hungry robots.

These fears are understandable, and it’s important for researchers, developers, and policymakers to address these concerns and ensure that AI is used responsibly and for the benefit of everyone. Those concerns are not unfounded, but let’s shine a light on the benefits and also discuss how AI can be responsible for some much-needed positive change on Earth. AI isn’t just about sci-fi scenarios; it’s about changing the game for good. If we wield this powerful tool wisely, we’re talking about some serious planet-saving, society-lifting digital magic.

Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks.

Stephen Hawking

Imagine AI rolling up its sleeves and getting down to business—planet-saving business. We’re talking about tackling environmental issues head-on, from climate change to wildlife conservation. And no, it’s not just about flashy gadgets; it’s about practical, real-world solutions that are changing the game around the world.

Get ready to see how AI isn’t just part of the solution—it’s the spark igniting a whole new era of positive change for mankind and the world we call home (though isn’t that usually the enthusiastic intro a villain delivers at the beginning of every Marvel movie?!)

1. Energy efficiency optimisation

AI isn’t just a bunch of ones and zeros; when leveraged effectively it offers some incredible benefits. Imagine this: AI algorithms tackling energy consumption and efficiency. AI integrated into buildings, transportation, and manufacturing, will level up energy efficiency in a way that has never been possible before.

How’s it done, you ask? AI and data patterns go together like mac and cheese. It’s like having a super-sleuth that sniffs out energy waste. And it doesn’t stop there. AI goes the extra mile and serves up solutions that cut waste, which means fewer carbon emissions and more sustainable resource use.

Google isn’t just about search engines. They’re pioneering AI-based smart thermostats that practically read your mind when it comes to heating and cooling. They learn your preferences and tailor the temperature accordingly. The result? Energy savings that make an impact.

So, next time you adjust that thermostat, remember that behind the scenes, AI is working its magic, making sure you stay comfy without letting precious energy slip through the cracks. It’s not just AI; it’s AI with a mission – a mission to facilitate a greener, more sustainable world.

2. Precision agriculture

Imagine if your farming decisions were as precise as a surgeon’s scalpel. That’s the magic of AI-powered systems in agriculture – it’s like having a team of experts right in your fields.

How does it work? Think real-time data analysis mixed with a touch of futuristic clairvoyance. AI doesn’t just see; it analyses, predicts, and advises. It’s like having a virtual farming whisperer who tells you exactly when and how to water, predicts crop diseases before they even dare to show up, and fine-tunes chemical use.

Meet agriculture’s secret weapon: computer vision and machine learning. This collab is revolutionising how farmers do their thing. It’s optimising water usage, slashing down chemical inputs, and making sure crop diseases don’t stand a chance. It’s smart farming on steroids.

But wait, it gets better. John Deere, the big player in agricultural machinery, is upping the game. They’ve rolled out AI-driven farming equipment that’s like an orchestra conductor for fertilisers and pesticides. It reads the soil like a pro, applying just the right amount of stuff and nothing more. The result? Less chemical use, smaller environmental footprints, and some seriously sustainable farming.

So, if you thought farming was all about old-school sweat and guesswork, think again. With AI in the fields, it’s like bringing in a squad of experts to make your land thrive while keeping the planet in mind.

3. Wildlife conservation and poaching prevention

Welcome to the tech-driven battleground of wildlife conservation and the war against poaching – where AI swoops in as a guardian angel for our animal pals.

Picture this: AI, crunching numbers from cameras in the wild, soaring drones, and even space-faring satellites. It’s not just analysing; it’s decoding the language of the wild. With every image, AI’s neurons fire up, identifying endangered species, checking up on their homes, and – hold onto your hats – spotting potential threats like poaching in the act. But that’s not all, AI doesn’t just watch; it predicts. It’s like having a digital seer that foretells danger. If a poacher even thinks about crossing a line, AI’s on it. It signals the alarm before a crime is committed.

And the best part? AI doesn’t sleep. It’s a tireless watcher, a digital sentinel that safeguards the wild day and night. Those tracking collars animals wear? AI knows when something’s up – behavior changes, unexpected interactions – and it’s not shy about raising its digital voice.

Now, let’s talk WWF and Intel – they’re deploying cameras that spot endangered species and track their every move to keep them safe from poaching and habitat loss. So, whether it’s the lion’s roar in Africa or the stealthy tiger in Asia, AI’s right there in the trenches, standing guard. This isn’t just technology; it’s a lifeline for the voiceless. With AI on watch, the wild isn’t just a jungle; it’s a sanctuary of protection.

4. Smart grid management

I think we’ve now realised that AI isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a force that is also sparking a revolution in smart grid management. It doesn’t just let the power flow; it’s a conductor of an electrical symphony. Here’s the 411: AI takes data from energy patterns and makes sure power flows exactly where and when it’s needed.

Let’s talk Tesla and Southern California Edison – who are rewriting the energy rulebook. Tesla’s AI-powered energy storage systems? They’re not just big batteries; they’re brains too. They dive into demand patterns, crunch numbers, and distribute energy. The result? Grids that are stable, reliable, and ready for the renewable energy party. AI isn’t just about balancing the grid; it’s a renewable energy enthusiast for solar and wind power. When the sun shines or the wind howls, AI adjusts power distribution.

So, while we’re talking tech and energy grids, remember this: AI isn’t just optimising; it’s future-proofing. With AI at the helm, the world of sustainable energy is getting smarter, greener, and a whole lot more reliable.

5. Developer code optimisation

Welcome to the tech realm where code gets smarter, faster, and leaner.

AI can contribute to reducing energy consumption through improved developer code. With AI diving deep into lines of code, it’s not just analysing; it’s optimising for energy efficiency. It suggests tweaks that make software not just functional, but eco-friendly too.

Enter Microsoft and Github – they’ve unleashed AI tools like IntelliCode and Copilot that are like code assistants on steroids. These tools don’t just spot errors; they boost efficiency, suggesting cleaner, more efficient code that uses less energy. AI isn’t just about lines of code; it’s about freeing up brainpower. It’s like a GPS for developers in the code maze, showing them the smoother path and saving them from decision-making jams.

AI is the efficiency guru, making code leaner, cleaner, and way more energy-efficient.

As we’ve explored in this blog, AI’s impact isn’t just a concept; it’s a tangible force that holds the promise of positive transformation.  It isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but stands as a remarkable ally in our journey to generate some much-needed good in the world. As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of technology, let’s remember that our actions today can shape a world that’s more sustainable, more inclusive, and ultimately, more humane.

And that’s exactly the change we LOVE to see!

As you can tell, we love to chat all things AI for good – holla to keep the conversation going.

Published on August 29, 2023, last updated on September 8, 2023

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