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Artificial Intelligence Technologies and Sustainability of Our Environment

Artificial Intelligence Technologies and Sustainability of Our Environment
Taniya Basu
Wed, 07/07/2021 – 21:01

Introduction: In recent years, the environmental issues have triggered debates, discussions, awareness programs and public outrage that have catapulted interest in new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence finds application in environmental sectors, including natural resource conservation, wildlife protection, energy management, clean energy, waste management, pollution control and agriculture. Advancement in the AI in environmental protection market could be one of the solutions to solve the major environmental concerns. The application of AI in environment protection includes machine learning for protecting the oceans, monitoring shipping, ocean mining, fishing, coral bleaching or the outbreak of marine disease. The AI techniques are quite beneficial for environmental analysis, as they are able to process a huge amount of data quickly so as to draw conclusions that may have not been possible by humans. The AI techniques are quite beneficial for environmental analysis, as they are able to process a huge amount of data quickly so as to draw conclusions that may have not been possible by humans. 

1.Weather Forecasting & Climate Changes: The traditional models of weather forecasting are based on statistical measures of numeric models, and it does not give answers in binary. The data collected can be from deep space satellites, weather balloons, radar systems, nowcasting weather warnings and environmental analytics and sometimes from IoT based sensors. 

The AI predictions are primarily based on machine learning algorithms. By processing more complex data in a shorter span of time using linear regression principles, now meteorologists can make predictions with improved accuracy and thus saves lives and money. Machine learning can abet with other forecasts as well, including temperature, wave height, and precipitation. Google’s AI forecast tool that is based on the UNET convolutional neural network (CNN) allows researchers to generate accurate rainfall predictions six hours ahead of when the precipitation occurs. CNN is a sequence of layers of mathematical operations arranged in an encoding phase. It takes the input satellite imagery and then transforms them into output images.

2.Climate Changes: For instance, we can halt emissions in the energy sector by using AI technology to forecast the supply and demand of power in the grid, improve the scheduling renewables, and reduce the life-cycle fossil fuel emissions through predictive maintenance. AI applications in transportation can enable more accurate traffic predictions, the development of freight transportation, and better modelling of demand and shared mobility optionOther kinds of impacts include the waste that is disrupting ecosystems, pollutants that affect human and animal health and biodiversity loss. By harnessing the swaths of data from sensors and satellites, we can better predict climate change impacts and proactively steward these ecosystems. 

AI applied in food systems can help better monitor crop yields, reduce the need for chemicals and excess water through precision agriculture and minimize food waste through forecasting demand and identifying spoiled produce. Lastly, AI systems used in buildings and cities can help automatically control heating and cooling as well as model energy used to decide which buildings to retrofit. 

3.Biodiversity and Conservation: With the recent development of AI-powered devices for the conservation of animals, we can now prevent wildlife extinction. After the extinction of western African rhinoceros, African elephants are next on the verge of going extinct due to the involvement of extensive poaching. The AI-based technology system uses a camera that detects poachers planning to attack an animal and subsequently generates an alert to the park rangers in real

Plants are very beneficial for human lives and greatly help in fulfilling our necessities. They help fulfill our basic necessities as they can provide us with food, shelter, and medicine. The more the number of trees present in an environment, the greater is the amount of oxygen produced. The AI-based platform allows its users to click and share photos of various species of plants in real time. It also allows the other community members to identify the photos of the specific plant and confirm the plant’s presence, whether if such a plant already exists. In this way, the AI-based networking platform can help discover new species of plants worldwide.

4.Ocean Health: In a recent research by two AI algorithm— Latent Variable Gaussian Process (LVGP) model and Probabilistic Principal Component Analysis (PPCA) were used to understand the sonar echoes in the ocean. The research aimed at observing the changes that can happen with sonar echoes at different depths, salinity, and temperature. The algorithms were capable of classifying underwater environments from simulated sonar measurements with an average accuracy of more than 90%. 

The application of artificial intelligence, ML algorithms, and smart robots seems to be the perfect combination in the future to come. Deep-sea mining and deep-sea research without disturbing the life beneath seem difficult a few years before, but not anymore. With the application of these latest technologies, oceanographers can create accurate cartography, understand the impact of climate change, species status, salinity, and gather a large amount of data to explore the areas left behind.

Conclusion: Researchers and scientists must ensure that the data provided through Artificial Intelligence systems are transparent, fair and trustworthy. With an increasing demand of automation solutions and higher precision data-study for environment related problems and challenges, more multinational companies, educational institutions and government sectors need to fund more R&D of such technologies and provide proper standardizations for producing and applying them.

In addition, there is a necessity to bring in more technologists and developers to this technology. Artificial intelligence is steadily becoming a part in our daily lives, and its impact can be seen through the advancements made in the field of environmental sciences and environmental management.

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