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[Podcast] AI & Humans for the Planet

Written by Alana Team
on November 10, 2020

Amid the chaos that Brazil is experiencing about burning in the Amazon and the Pantanal, it is important to discuss ways to prevent environmental problems and re-establish and strengthen biomes.

An excellent opportunity is the use of technologies that can help us monitor and develop sustainability strategies and the environment in general.

In this episode of the Inside Alana Podcast, we talk about how technologies that use artificial intelligence can help humans care for the Planet. Check out how to use technology to generate changes in production and consumption models, seeking to reverse the negative effects of human impact on Earth.

 

Artificial Intelligence Applications

We talked about the concepts of Artificial Intelligence in the first episodes of the Inside Alana Podcast and how AI helps to solve problems through algorithms that recognize patterns, predictions, and recommendations based on numerical data, images, videos, text, etc.

With these skills in mind, scientists and startups are already developing and applying various smart solutions on behalf of the planet to solve various environmental problems.

For example, Artificial Intelligence can be used to design new products and materials that are more sustainable and can be discarded following the logic of the circular economy.

Nowadays, there are machine learning algorithms that do the design, prototyping, and testing of materials autonomously.

The Accelerated Metallurgy project uses AI to produce and test new metal alloys, which can replace environmentally harmful chemicals and less durable material. It is conducted by the European Space Agency and a group of manufacturers, universities, and designers.

Sustainable business models

Many companies are creating more sustainable business models based entirely on data and machine learning algorithms.

Waze is one of the first mass services that indirectly uses artificial intelligence in favor of a sustainable ideal. After all, the app is nothing more than a machine learning tool that uses real-time traffic data to reduce congestion in cities and improve mobility.

Many other emerging examples of companies emphasize subscription or rental services rather than having consumers buy and eventually discard products.

Another good practice is the combined use of historical and real-time data, both on users and products, to predict the demand for a particular product, thus avoiding waste in the production chain and making inventory management more sustainable.

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Fauna and Flora Monitoring

Artificial intelligence is going far beyond and is also being used to take care of fauna and flora in several regions.

Microsoft, for example, uses its artificial intelligence tools to monitor endangered animals around the world. They are facial recognition cameras to identify and track animals such as lions, jaguars, and elephants, monitoring their populations and migrations.

It is also common to use robotics models and remote sensing machine learning to assess information on whales' health and size, for example.

Remote Environments

Artificial intelligence can be used even in more remote and difficult to monitor habitats, such as Antarctica.

There, AI is being used to monitor penguin populations through a computer vision model, which looks for guano patches on satellite images and informs the algorithms they generate population estimates.

Use of IA in Brazil

Here,  INPE (National Institute for Space Research)  has been using neural networks to map forest cover and the evolution of deforestation in the Atlantic Forest.

The high-resolution images obtained by satellites are compared with aerial photographs taken since the 1960s, using an algorithm that identifies specific trees and objects. This tool reproduces what the human eye does, but on an incomparably better scale since it maps millions of objects in the images.

Some projects combine algorithms and satellite images to detect debris and plastics in the oceans and the rate of melting glaciers, for example, in other parts of the world.

If you want to know even more about how artificial intelligence can help the environment, save the episode to listen when you can and follow the Inside Alana Podcast. 

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