In 1956, the concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI) was formally proposed, marking the birth of artificial intelligence. The main goal towards the development of AI is to give robots the ability to perceive, learn, think, make decisions and act. After more than 60 years of development, artificial intelligence has made breakthrough progress in our society. It has been widely used in various fields of economy and society and has formed a trend to lead a new round of industrial transformation, pushing human society into the intelligent era. And, the strategic significance of artificial intelligence has been embraced by all business sectors
However, as the AI technology is becoming more powerful, more autonomous and robust in every aspect of the business, the issue of environmental protection remains paramount. And, here the AI topic goes beyond “human-friendly” to ensure “environmental-friendly”. While concerns hang over the sustainability of our planet, prey to global warming and a dwindling of its resources, artificial intelligence acts as a double-sided sword to use for more sustainable development. By sustainable development, we mean the model that we must promote to be able to meet our present needs, without compromising those of future generations.
So, here we have outlined some of the game-changer applications of AI to create a sustainable and eco-friendly future
Designing products that can last longer – AI is already used as a promising tool for the production of new materials that help in building a sustainable environment. For example, The Accelerated Metallurgy project led by the European Space Agency with a group of leading manufacturers and designers – has used AI technology in their project. As, it can quickly and efficiently produce the new metal alloys, which are durable and the elements in their composition are free of chemical agents and can be easily decomposed which means it is not harmful to the environment. Therefore, you need to rethink and design the products, so that they can maintain their value for longer or it can be reused after a certain period of time.
Protecting species with AI tools – Many animal species are extinct or endangered. And, this is a huge problem affecting the biological diversity of the planet. Therefore, artificial intelligence can be used to study animal behavior patterns such as migration, mating, and feeding habits. Artificial intelligence technologies like computer vision can non-invasively monitor these species. Advanced artificial intelligence and vision technologies can detect animals in pictures from cameras that track and study animal movements. An American company uses the computer vision to detect the footprints of rhinos, cheetahs, and other endangered species to track and identify the environments that threaten them.
Applying AI for sustainable agricultural development – Due to population growth, intensive farming, and other activities, soil pollution is a major problem today. As we all know, Food production is the key to sustain human life on Earth. Therefore, through AI-augmented agriculture, you can maintain environmental sustainability by monitoring crops and soils and maximize the crop yields, while having less impact on the environment. AI technologies have the potential to change traditional agricultural practices. They pave the way for safer agricultural methods that ultimately benefit people's health. Smart monitoring equipment and sensors can be connected to the crop to continuously monitor its growth. Anomalies can be detected and resolved immediately. This data can then be used to determine irrigation patterns and recommend optimal watering cycles. Better varieties of crops with high nutrient content can be grown using AI, which can also reduce our use of harmful pesticides.
Applying AI for water conservation – The exploitation of natural resources by human beings has a harmful effect on the main water bodies. The level of trash in our oceans is higher than ever. Thus, artificial intelligence tools are used to protect our oceans from pollution to achieve environmental sustainability. Automatic garbage collection vehicles powered by artificial intelligence are helping us get rid of marine litter. Machine learning can also help assess changing conditions that endanger the ocean, such as illegal fishing, the discharge of industrial wastewater into water bodies, and the illegal disposal of solid waste by local people. Artificial intelligence can also help improve water quality by monitoring pollution levels in real-time to determine if any illegal activity is impeding water quality.
To conclude, we are living in developing times. And, we are yet to face more environmental challenges. Artificial intelligence to environmental sustainability has proven us to be one of our most useful tools for striving for environmental balance. Thus, organizations should implement artificial intelligence in their processes to create a sustainable future.