Shaping future sustainability with AI

Planet Earth is degrading at an alarming rate and countries are exploring to come up with solutions for sustainable living and attaining ecological balance on the planet.

At the same time, we envisage artificial intelligence (AI) and related innovations in smart, connected, and digital areas are set to drastically change societies & economies with extraordinary benefits including increased productivity, better efficiency, and improved public services.

However, one would be misled if one does not recognize the growing techno-anxiety because of the increasing influence of AI. There is this underlying fear that there will not be enough jobs due to technological advancements in AI & automation.

It is up to us to harness the power of cutting-edge AI technologies to ensure it rightfully augments human capabilities. Allowing us in making better decisions, focusing on what’s important, and accelerating sustainable technology development. We already see evidence of mission-driven AI benefiting key economic sectors and contributing towards sustainability.

In the field of environmental conservation, we see remote sensing based AI technology enabling wide scale monitoring for illegal fishing, and illegal logging for example which was hitherto not possible due to labor and capital constraints.

In the context of climate change, we see AI tools helping scientists develop Big Data based sophisticated climate models enabling us to understand different scenarios-based climate impact & hence drive coordinated actions, still when there is time.

Transitioning to a low carbon economy through increased adoption of renewable energy sources, driving energy use efficiency are all very critical. AI technologies are helping energy producers to decide when to switch to solar plants or wind turbines, as alternate source of power, depending on the time of the year & local weather changes.

One of the macro issues facing humans is food security in the face of increasing demand given the growing human population & average income level, degrading resources like arable land, and scarce water availability. Agriculture is responsible for ~25% of direct/indirect GHG emissions hence AI technologies have a huge potential impact in this area. We already see AI & related remote sensing, IoT, and cloud technologies improving food value chain efficiency for example through food waste reduction, increasing average yield levels, and enabling food traceability. 

Though one can understand the techno-anxiety involved with AI technology adoption, but the role of government, education institutions, private organizations, and people in general needs to be underscored in re-skilling and transitioning the working population to adapt to a new digital economy and support wherever necessary the affected parties. 

All these changes call for great leadership and coordinated world efforts. This can only be possible if we all come together united by challenges faced by the entire human race. I wish and hope for a united world harnessing the power of AI and innovating for the greater good.

#Sustainability #AIforGood #Innovation