The present scenario is such that going forward, our Earth is going to be under severe pressure to sustain life. Depleting natural resources, burgeoning populations, global warming, and varying climatic changes are seriously affecting the health, economy and societal fabric of our lives. With the future at stake organizations are turning to artificial intelligent based green technologies for a sustainable and viable green enterprise.
The process of earth sustainability involves optimal utilization of the renewable resources like energy, solar, wind, biomass and water.
Green technologies are an emerging umbrella term that’s associated with technologies that are leveraged to support the initiatives and innovations governing the policies and regulations of the business. It brings innovation to our daily life. Green tech now impacts daily tasks in our homes, industrial systems while ensuring continuous scientific and technological progress.
Many prominent green initiatives include Microsoft’s AI for Earth, a 50-million-dollar project announced in 2017, whose primary aim is to find solutions to various challenges related to climatic changes, agriculture, water and biodiversity. They are protecting the environment at a larger scale.
Leading the forefront of the green technologies is Artificial Intelligence (AI) that covers all industry aspects like manufacturing, automotive, healthcare, agriculture, etc. Other technologies include Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, machine learning, analytics etc.
AI for going green
It’s a known fact that data centers consume nearly 3 percent of global energy each year. Leading the AI based green initiatives is Google’s DeepMind AI that has helped reduce their data center energy usage by 40 percent to make them more efficient and reduce their carbon foot print.
This is just one of the endless possibilities where AI’s impact on industry verticals and its continued advancements is bringing various leaders and green innovations to the field.
AI presence in all these verticals is seen in the real-time analysis of the Big data and IoT data that’s continually being collected from the disparate sources and fed to the analytic engines. Decision makers can leverage the insights and help in their decision-making process.
Practical uses cases where AI impact is seen
Renewable resources like solar, wind, hydel projects and biomass units are being optimized through applications of AI and machine learning in their operations. Using AI to predict and manage fluctuations in production and forecast the electricity demand and generation will lessen the need for backup mechanisms like generators etc.
Deep learning applications and machine learning algorithms can connect with satellites to predict weather conditions. Various software programs analyze the soil for nutrients, and other parameters for crop sustainability. These help to correlate patterns with certain soil defects, plant pests and diseases. Farms utilize adaptive irrigation systems wherein the land is irrigated based on data collected from soil via sensors by an AI system. This is gaining wide popularity among the farmers for its important role in water management.
Big data, AI for climate monitoring
Data collection surrounding climatic conditions are gathered from diverse sources and organized to help scientists. Changes occurring over time are mapped to AI based analytic solutions to identify patterns and make predictions of future vulnerability and potential damage. This gives scientists the information to identify risk zones and vulnerabilities. AI can also assist scientists to test their theories and potential solutions regarding any climatic variations.
Planning for the best transportation routes for supply chain management using AI can cut fuel consumption. Self-driving electric cars reduce gas consumption. Smart cities backed by AI can be used for traffic management leading to optimal efficiency. Using machine-driven public electric transportation with AI determining the locations of re-charging stations will reduce personal use or need of cars.
3D printing on its own has huge potential for the manufacturing sector. Combined with AI, manufacturers now have an intelligent feedback loop that allows the machines to learn and speed the development of the printing process. All these advancements help in reducing the cost of production and producing environmentally friendly and green products.
Concluding, AI technology can and will improve the current situation and allow us to plan and sustain a better future for our planet. All these comes at the price of privacy and security concerns. AI brings along with it the potential for hacking and data theft affecting every stakeholder involved. Correct handling of all these control, ethical and security issues will help in creating an environmental sustainability.
– Shantha Kumari,
Sr. Technical Writer,