Artificial intelligence and climate change: more than meets the eye

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Many in the climate and sustainability community are concerned about the implications of the AI ​​revolution on the issue of global warming. These concerns are understandable – while artificial intelligence enables amazing work and creative devices, the cost of energy consumption is high as AI models require more data centers, electricity and cooling infrastructure to run. AI-attributable energy consumption is estimated to grow at an annual rate of 30% by 2028, potentially surpassing Iceland's total electricity consumption.

Another concern is the potential misuse of AI capabilities from an environmental perspective. Artificial intelligence can increase consumer consumption by increasing targeted advertising and help fossil fuel companies increase their production. Artificial intelligence can be harmful like any technology.

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Ron Stern General Partner, Head of Portfolio Management Department at OurCrowd

(Credit: Avi Doody)

The climate community believes that the answers to the climate crisis will come from deep technology solutions based on physics, chemistry, biology, and hardware, supported by large-scale investment, but AI-based optimization is unlikely. Considered as a good addition.

However, I see the situation as more complex, where AI will play an important role in addressing environmental challenges. This stems from rapid technological advances in several areas: First, the availability of artificial intelligence models and cloud computing infrastructure has increased dramatically. Second, the distribution of networked “smart” edge devices, across industries, has proliferated. At the edge computing, faster and cheaper computing capabilities, enabled by advanced chips, have become more widely available. Third, access to large databases, such as satellite imagery (with better resolution and lower cost) and open-source weather data, has increased in many fields.

The combination of these technologies can accelerate the adoption of new solutions by significantly reducing implementation time and costs. Let's explore some examples of how AI can contribute to tackling environmental challenges:

In the AgTech sector, more companies are using artificial intelligence models that integrate diverse layers of information, including satellite images, weather data, and various sensors, to help farmers improve efficiency and adopt environmentally friendly practices. Can provide insight. AI can also significantly reduce water and pesticide use while increasing crop yields.

Artificial intelligence algorithms are also used to monitor entire water and sewage networks, detect pipeline faults, and track pollution incidents in real time. With a growing network of smart devices connected to centralized systems, these capabilities help prevent emergencies by saving millions of cubic meters of water each year, maintaining wastewater treatment standards, and reducing energy and repair costs. can do

The combination of AI with chemistry and nanotechnology can also be exploited for carbon dioxide determination. This application can help restore habitats, increase biodiversity, and even make toxic water safe to drink. AI models can be fed external data, such as satellite images, weather data, and geological information to provide insights into the water body, what treatment will be needed to restore it, and carbon dioxide emissions. Quantities can be detailed and estimated. Which can be caught.

In summary, as with any technology, the key question with AI is how it is used. The increase in the number of data sources and aggregate processing power opens the door to the use of AI in the world of climate and sustainability, making it significantly more important in the fight to conserve water, prevent pollution, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Empowers to collaborate on If relevant stakeholders from the public sector, the tech community and the investment world skillfully join forces, Israel can play a central role in this technological revolution.

The author is a General Partner, Head of Portfolio Management Department at OurCrowd, an online global investment platform that has invested over $250 million in 46 sustainability companies to date.

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