We are at a tipping point – the planet’s environment is going to continue to worsen if nothing changes. Among scientists, institutions, and environmentally aware citizens, this fact is already well-known. Large-scale initiatives must be undertaken now to adapt to, and even reverse, the environmental damages that are transforming the planet.
In light of this, artificial intelligence (AI) may be the key to turning the tide and giving humanity a glimmer of hope for a sustainable future. From saving our bees to sustainable city planning, AI has the potential to solve the planet’s most pressing issues in countless ways.
What Exactly is AI?
In short, artificial intelligence combines technology and big data to simulate human decisions and tasks. Whether it’s your Uber app or home security system, AI has become an everyday necessity. Now, computers and software can learn, process, and store information like humans – but more efficiently. Artificial intelligence can revolutionize the way we live, including the development of projects that are environmentally sustainable.
How AI Can Transform Sustainability
As AI has become more commonplace in the environmental industry, conservationists are using it to help them keep track of wildlife. You will see tools and features like AI-powered drones to regulate poaching activities, machine learning to monitor animal numbers, and enhanced image capturing to keep track of wild animal species in nature reserves. As a result of artificial intelligence, researchers and environmentalists are now able to carry out tasks they previously had to do alone. Apart from protecting researchers from potentially dangerous situations, they now have valuable tools and data to preserve vulnerable ecosystems.
Carbon Footprint Reduction
You can’t begin talking about climate change without talking about the massive increase in carbon emissions the world has seen in the last 50 years. Scientists have been investing in AI-powered solutions to offset the global carbon footprint. So far, the results have been promising. Incorporating AI with logistics, transportation, and other resource-heavy industries could reduce carbon emissions by roughly 10% by the end of the decade. AI can help manage resources and eliminate many wasteful practices that are common in many industries.
Air Pollution Control
With an increasingly urban population and air pollution becoming an issue for cities worldwide, there needs to be a faster way to track and improve air quality. This is why investors are funding products and software powered by AI to reduce air pollution. From creating fuel-efficient AI-powered cars to accurately monitoring air quality in cities up to two weeks in advance, AI will be an essential part of air quality control in the near future.
AI Startups That Are Saving Our Planet
Keeping Bees Alive with Nectar
Can you believe that in 2020 alone, the US lost roughly 46% of its bee population? Despite their small size, bees play a critical and significant role in crop production through pollination. Not only is honey becoming more expensive to produce, but in order to maintain crop yields, farmers must use other, more expensive (and toxic) methods.
This is what Nectar, a Montreal-based environmental startup, is committed to changing with its cloud-based software. Through a QR code assigned to every colony, beekeepers can now efficiently maintain, analyze, and manage their bees with an app on their phones. Nectar provides you with every assigned bee yard’s history and hive status. This data can help beekeepers track their bee yards in real-time to help better take care of their bee colonies stress-free. Over time, Nectar can be instrumental in repopulating bee colonies worldwide.
Improve Soil Quality with Trace Genomics
Conventional farming methods have been a major cause for soil depletion. While other methods like hydroponic farms can reduce dependence on traditional methods, most places still rely on soil quality. Trace Genomics sees increasingly poor soil quality as a growing problem. It uses artificial intelligence technology to educate farmers about reducing their annual yield loss. As a result of gathering soil samples, Trace Genomics analyzes chemistry, biology, and carbon measurements to find out what farmers need to improve their soil. There is less crop loss, and it’s an affordable solution for farmers who want to use their soil sustainably.
Save Precious Water with Fracta
With most of the global population living in cities, mass urban planning and development has taken place to keep up with growth. However, damages, especially to the water supply, can happen at any time. This is why startups like Fracta want to be a part of the solution for sustainable city planning, especially when conserving water. Using Fracta’s machine learning capabilities to detect failing water pipes and create consequences of failure (COS) scenarios, engineers and companies can avoid water main breaks and develop sound infrastructure. Fracta reduces long-term water waste and can help cities cut down on costly repairs.
Preserve Rainforests with Rainforest Connection
Over 50% of rainforests have been lost because of human activity. If nothing happens, these habitats will be a part of the past by the end of the century. Besides being Earth’s air filters, rainforests are responsible for the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on it to survive, and home to billions of other life forms.
Rainforest Connection understands the need to save these precious habitats, and their AI technology enables them to do that. With real-time data, alerts, and monitoring, their software prevents illegal deforestation and poaching in over 22 locations around the world. Data like this can also assist authorities in enforcing existing environmental laws more effectively and protecting vulnerable species worldwide.
AI Will Transform Sustainability
The world has seen unprecedented damage in recent decades, and it’s no wonder why experts say Earth is at an environmental point of no return. Experiencing the effects of climate change is harrowing. However, technological advancement, especially artificial intelligence, offers a glimmer of hope for finding practical solutions. By making accurate and affordable data in various industries, AI software offers environmental experts valuable information to work with when implementing solutions. It may not be the answer to all of our ecological woes, but AI provides valuable insight into how to shape and transform the sustainability industry of the future.
ecomadic is a sustainable tourism brand that empowers travelers to make more conscious decisions. By curating a marketplace to easily find and identify responsible businesses to support, and providing educational publications through our online green travel magazine, ecomadic is committed to helping empower travelers make responsible choices throughout their journeys.
Want to learn more?
How AI is revolutionizing Wildlife Conservation? – Analytics Steps
Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data – US EPA
BeeTrack – Nectar
Big Progress = Fast, Robust Results at Ames Innovation Center – Trace Genomics
Fracta AI – Fracta AI
Rain Forest Threats – National Geographic
Rainforest Connection – Rainforest Connection
Too Little, Too Late? Carbon Emissions and the Point of No Return – Yale Environment Review