Microsoft launches 'AI for Earth' project

Posted Dec 16, 2017 by Tim Sandle
There's plenty of predictions (not to mention dystopian literature) about the threat of intelligent machines. Microsoft have taken a different tract and put forward how artificial intelligence can save the planet.
The earth has asteroids whizzing past it several times a week but these are smaller in size that the...
The earth has asteroids whizzing past it several times a week but these are smaller in size that the one expected on April 19
December 2017 marks the two year anniversary of the Paris climate accord, the agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. Despite the U.S,. government having signaled its intention to withdrawn from the agreement in 2020, Microsoft took the opportunity to launch is new vision for artificial intelligence and the environment.
AI for Earth
Microsoft has announced a $50 million investment in its "Artificial Intelligence for Earth" project. This takes the form of an expanded strategic plan, over the next five years, designed "to put artificial intelligence technology in the hands of individuals and organizations around the world who are working to protect our planet". The technology firm adds that this application of machine intelligence can be a “game-changer for our planet.”
The revised plan follows on from Microsoft' launch of "AI for Earth" during the summer. This began with an opening $2 million investment. In addition, Technology Review reports, the corporation hired Lucas Joppa to run the scheme in the role of chief environmental scientist.
Startup investment in green technology
The program is multifaceted. Some of the funding will be used to identify startups, with an environmental focus, that Microsoft could acquire or invest in. One example is with companies who are developing high-resolution land cover mapping tools to help with sustainable development; a second is technology for biodiversity, using detect pathogens by using mosquitoes; and a third is with data-driven farming in India. All startups are given access and training to use the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform.
The plan also includes internal development, designed to help Microsoft position itself as a responsible player and to develop the use of artificial intelligence for wider and sustainable benefits.