Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageMicrosoft adds another $50m to AI for Earth at One Planet Summit

By James Walker     Dec 11, 2017 in Technology
Microsoft's announced it's investing another $50m in its "AI for Earth" initiative to help organisations use AI to protect the environment. The company committed the additional funding on the eve of the One Planet Summit in Paris tomorrow.
Transformative technology
AI for Earth was announced earlier this year as a way of assisting environmental researchers in protecting the planet. Companies with ideas on how AI could help the earth are encouraged to apply. Successful applicants in each of the AI for Earth categories are awarded with access to Microsoft's comprehensive cloud computing and machine learning resources on its Azure platform.
In a blog post before a speech at the One Planet Summit, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said AI for Earth demonstrates the "transformation potential" of the technology. Smith said the program is designed to encourage societal change. It's meant to help environmental organisations utilise their data and efficiently model natural processes.
READ NEXT: Gradual introduction of AI could be critical to tech's success
"At Microsoft, we believe artificial intelligence is a game changer. Our approach as a company is focused on democratizing AI so its features and capabilities can be put to use by individuals and organizations around the world to improve real-world outcomes," said Smith. "There are few societal areas where AI can be more impactful than in helping address the urgent work needed to monitor, model and manage the earth's natural systems."
The new $50 million investment will be distributed over the next five years. The funding will be granted to individuals and organisations with innovative ideas that use AI to protect the Earth's environment. The first round of AI for Earth grants has already been awarded and is helping organisations across the globe to create change.
AI and Earth
Microsoft has provided Azure access to Tasmanian farmers, a Norwegian utility firm, Singapore's national infrastructure provider and oyster farmers across the world. So far, more than 35 grants in over 10 countries have received access to AI technology under the AI for Earth program.
The investment is a significant committal for Microsoft that suggests AI for Earth may have attracted much more attention than the company had expected. It launched the program in the summer with a $2 million funding pool. The company isn't approaching the initiative entirely altruistically though, since it's also an attempt to encourage wider adoption of AI.
One of the program's additional aims is to promote AI as a technology that creates positive change on a global scale. This could lead to increased sales of Microsoft's cloud infrastructure. The company said the new commitment to AI for Earth is "an expanded strategic plan" to help both the planet and AI.
More about ai for earth, Microsoft, machine learning, Environment, Ai
Latest News
Top News