Microsoft Supports Australian Environment-Focused AI Projects
According to the latest AI tech news, Microsoft has shown support for 6 Australian projects that focus on artificial intelligence (AI) to help solve problems associated with water, agriculture, biodiversity, and local weather exchange as a part of the tech massive’s AI for Earth program.
Chief Environmental Officer of Microsoft, Lucas Joppa, expressed that as a technology company with a deep commitment to sustainability, they understand that their responsibility extends beyond their own operations to innovating a healthier and better future.
About the Australian AI Projects
The six Australian projects are spread across more than 60 countries which have received “AI for Earth” grants and support to date. These projects are ideal because they have built an AI system that interprets images captured by hyperspectral cameras mounted on drones to get a better understanding of the health of the environment. The project is now to see the team process data from 60,000 camera trap images. The ultimate aim of these projects is to harness technology to help mitigate and adapt to changing climates, ensure resilient water supplies, sustainably feed a population rapidly growing to 10 billion people, and stem the ongoing and catastrophic loss of biodiversity.
Microsoft’s Take on AI For Earth
The world of technology is witnessing rapid changes in cloud and AI solutions. These advancements are rapidly unlocking new possibilities to solve the world’s most challenging problems. But in-turn the uptake of those solutions to understand and protect the planet is proceeding slowly. Such as, individuals are essentially turning a blind eye when it comes to understanding how the planet is changing and how to best solve environmental challenges. AI definitely has the ability to change that. This was expressed by officials at Microsoft. The funding given to the Australian projects is used to provide Microsoft Azure cloud computing resources, including AI tools and/or data labelling services, as well as access to training on data science, machine learning, and visualisation tools, the company explained.
Time is too short and current human resources are too few to solve urgent climate-related challenges without the exponential power of AI. By putting AI in the hands of researchers and organisations we can use important data insights to help solve issues related to water, agriculture, biodiversity, and climate change.
At the end of 2018, Microsoft had said that half the power used by its data centres came from renewable energy and it should hit 60% by the end of 2019. It is now aiming to cut its carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 and as part of that effort has raised its internal carbon tax to $15 per metric ton on all carbon emissions, which is nearly double the current rate for carbon emissions.
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