And deep learning has created models that use satellite images to recognize different forms of land cover worldwide, enabling urbanization and forest and water change detections, and informing agriculture, climate studies, and health studies. Smog in Moscow, for instance, is characterized by high amounts of hydrocarbons. (Source: Statista, Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung), About 64 percent of the world's population were rural dwellers in 1970. Clash in German forest as red line is crossed, 4. "When we start to move away from the hype and realize the real, tangible value that these techniques can provide by being applied to business problems or environmental problems, then we can start to see the real benefits," Brethenoux said. That's changed drastically. "Expectations and the practical implementation of those techniques is critical. The NGO "Sweetbike" provides schools in rural South Africa with second-hand bicycles. We use cookies to improve our service for you. AI has already been applied to several environmental problems, said Brandon Purcell, principal analyst at Forrester. Artificial wetlands or Constructed wetland: treatment systems that use rooted wetland plants and shallow, flooded or saturated soil to provide wastewater treatment. The Singapore Zoo is another example of a man-made environment. But we actually put a lot of effort into getting the black gold out instead. Mutation 3. The smog in Mexico City is made worse by the geographical location. The dodo (pictured above) was pushed to extinction by the introduction of nonnative species in 1690 - only 100 years after it had been discovered on Mauritius. (Source: WorldBank), People love cars, right? "We are sawing off the limb that we are sitting on," wrote author Paul Ehrlich from Stanford University. Think bees and their pollinating prowess - necessary for growing food. This year, the figure is likely to be even higher. In 2004, some 27,000 square kilometers went up in flames – a global negative record. Her team has also used machine learning and game theory to help protected areas fight the poaching of endangered animals, including elephants and rhinos. Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing humanity, and AI could help tackle the problems it poses. Small farmers and gold prospectors have settled along the gash cut through the jungle, pushing out the original inhabitants from their traditional areas of settlement. But when we go to do that, it becomes very important. For example, WildTrack uses a … The poor air quality in Cairo causes a number illnesses among city residents, like chronic respiratory problems and lung cancer. Once it is cleared, the timber is sold. image: pixabay. Even if it looks the same the world over, smog is different, depending on the city. Brazil’s national energy plan foresees a considerable rise by 2030. According to the latest estimates, the majority of us are living in urban areas even in less developed countries. Around 3.7 billion people took to the skies 2016. Robotics and Automation in the Workplace. However, several challenges prevent AI from being the answer to all of our environmental problems. AI applications also track mosquito populations to anticipate or prevent the spread of disease, as well as weather changes, to warn populations about upcoming storms, said Erick Brethenoux, a research director at Gartner. And - rather unsurprisingly - we create a lot. Natural selection 2. Other examples include aquariums, dams, gardens and the ‘living wall’. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is augmenting our workplaces and transforming the employee experience. The reservation belongs to the 'Nova Esperanca do Piria' community in Brazil's Para state. 2012 saw a loss of 4,571 square kilometers. Business decision-makers working in environmental sustainability are optimistic about the power of AI, according to a 2018 report from Intel: 74% of the 200 professionals in this field surveyed agreed that AI will help solve long-standing environmental challenges. Artificial selection works the same way as natural selection, except that with natural selection it is nature, not human interference, that makes these decisions. SEE: How self-driving tractors, AI, and precision agriculture will save us from the impending food crisis (cover story PDF) (TechRepublic). They contribute to around 80 percent of the total air pollution in the city. As species disappear, so do crucial services, such as pollination of crops by honeybees. "Realizing the potential of AI to inform environmental sustainability and social challenges will be key to making progress toward the Sustainable Development Goal in the tight race with irreversible changes in our planet," Dilkina said. That's an unprecedented rise, in both size and speed. Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) could be one of the solutions to solving major global environmental crises--from climate change to animal endangerment to disease containment--as projects in each of these areas are already underway. Ulan Bator is not only one of the coldest capitals on earth, it's also a city with massive air pollution. Advances in the field of robotics —a combination of computer science, mechanical and electronics engineering, and science—have meant that machines or related forms of automation now do the work of humans in a wide variety of settings, such as medicine, where robots perform surgeries previously done by the surgeon’s hand. It takes 2,000 years for nature to produce a 10-centimeter (4-inch) layer of fertile soil that holds water and nutrients, and where plants can grow. In 2013, clearing practices were intensified again in Brazil’s rainforest. "To really get real value from AI, businesses will need to cooperate to share this crucial data," Purcell said. You know by now that artificial intelligence is a form of technology. The city is surrounded on three sides by mountains. Most of the growth is happening on the African continent, and in southern and eastern Asia. Large areas can dry out, and ploughing can dislodge the top layer so that it is blown away by the wind. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature - which publishes a "red list" of threatened and endangered species - 41 percent of amphibian species and 26 percent of mammals are facing extinction. By the late 19th century, 98% of the moths near cities were black. Legal notice | About 2,000 trees have been cut down every minute during the past 40 years, according to a different study. ... it seems that artificial intelligence could soon design all-new strategies for even the world’s best-studied sports. Google has also used its own AI expertise to improve its energy efficiency as a company--leveraging DeepMind's machine learning capabilities, it reduced the amount of energy needed to cool its data centers by 40%. Is 5G overhyped? The explosion of Internet of Things (IoT) data, including sensors ranging from cameras in a field to satellites in space, has helped scientists use AI techniques to extract more data, Dilkina said. 25 Examples of A.I. Not only do species inherently deserve to exist, they also provide products and "services" essential to human survival. Back in 1970, the world's population exhaled about 14.4 billion tons of CO2. "If you think about climate data, there's a wealth of traditional structured data about temperature, sea levels, emissions levels, etc. But there's much more work to be done. © 2021 ZDNET, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. Artificial intelligence is a game changer. "For example, chemicals, lots of water use and heat, as well as being bad for the environment can strip oils from the hair, cause irritation and negatively affect hair condition." Picture gallery: Remember when we used just one earth? Problem: Overloading of the atmosphere and of ocean waters with carbon. Not only do natural forests act as biodiversity reserves, they are also carbon sinks, keeping carbon out of the atmosphere and oceans. Like human skin, the Earth's sensitive surface needs protection from the sun, wind and cold. Destruction there rose by 136 percent between August 2012 and June 2013, according to the Imazon Institute. It can be a machine or an algorithm. These five megatrends present major global threats for planet Earth — problems that must be solved if the world is to remain a supportive habitat for humans and other species. In 1970, 250 million cars were on the road worldwide. Already classic examples of this are Alexa or Siri. Brazil’s environment agency, Ibama, regularly patrols the Amazon’s national parks and nature reserves. Action done when the agent, by doing something, changes the environment. Organic food has become popular because many people believe that too … The Chinese capital has been suffering from smog so heavy that scientists say the city is almost uninhabitable - although it is home to 20 million people. There are many examples of artificial intelligence being used today to enhance and improve our lives, but these are some of the most potent applications of A.I. Solutions: Conserve of what's left of natural forests, and restore degraded areas by replanting with native tree species. It's described as the world's green lung because it sucks up so much carbon dioxide. Even acts which seem less extreme, such as building a mud hut or a photovoltaic system in the desert, the modified environment becomes an artificial one. In the nearly 10 million-strong city of New Delhi, the number of cars has increased from 180,000 to 3.5 million in the last 30 years. This week: Fighting to protect fish in Sierra Leone and using backpacks made out of pineapples and cacti. Discover a few non-evolutionary examples of gradualism. ", SEE: Special report: Managing AI and ML in the enterprise (free PDF) (TechRepublic). © 2021 Deutsche Welle | In 2012, the agency issued fines of roughly half a billion euros. evolution (v. to evolve) A process by which species undergo changes over time, usually through genetic variation and natural selection. It's not just particular to environmental situations, or applications, or solutions. An Artificial Ecosystem needs help from humans (in one way or other) for its survival. In a place like Saudi Arabia, the intense ultra-violet rays also transform transport and industry emissions into ozone. It contains plants and animals that are away from their native habitat, and need help from the farmer to survive. The costs of clearing a forested area are estimated at around 3,000 euros (4,040 US dollars) per hectare. Artificial sweeteners may be derived from natural substances. Hundreds of Yanomami have died from diseases brought into their areas by prospectors. They ensure that the humus layer stores nutrients and water. Another great example of how AI impacts our lives are the music and media streaming services that we are using on a daily basis. ", Be in the know about smart cities, AI, Internet of Things, VR, AR, robotics, drones, autonomous driving, and more of the coolest tech innovations. "It depends on the use case--it's about trying to find the real value that can be derived very quickly from the technology," Brethenoux said. The weaknesses of artificial intelligence. During the winter months, yurts like Tsegi’s are heated with coal and wood which contributes up to 70 percent of the smog in the city. Researchers found the world's highest concentration of sulfur dioxide there. But an ever-growing number of trees is lost to lumberjacks, gold diggers and agricultural companies. So, no organism is perfectly adapted to its environment. According to a study by the Max-Planck Institute in Mainz, some 15,000 people die every year in Dhaka due to air pollution. "AI is most helpful when the possible solution to a problem resides in large, highly dimensional datasets," Pucell said. The smog is caused primarily by the high volume of road traffic, rubbish incineration and dust from the surrounding deserts. Picture gallery: The big smog: Cities plagued by air pollution. Ski Dubai is another example. Rukam's residents thought selling their land to a palm oil company would bring wealth, but the environment has suffered. Our numbers today exceed 7.5 billion. That number shot up to 1 billion in 2010 and will have skyrocketed to 2 billion by 2020. Even though only about five percent of Brazil’s 200 million inhabitants live in the Amazon region, dam construction is on the rise there. Despite the recent hype, many AI techniques have been around for decades, and have already provided a number of benefits for the environment and other sectors, Brethenoux said. Solutions: Replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. Animal behaviour - Animal behaviour - Artificial selection: A wholly different approach to reconstructing the evolution of certain behaviours involves the attempt to “re-create” history by imposing an artificial selection regime on a species that is closely related to the one showing the behaviour of interest. When it comes to analyzing massive amounts of unstructured data, deep learning is really the only game in town.". Definition. (Source: Statista), The Amazon is one of the most precious and impressive rainforests on Earth. It has even been successfully used to detect levels of poverty from space, Dilkina said. Due to the high levels of sulfur dioxide and hydrocarbons in the air, Mexico City was long considered one of the most polluted cities in the world. Change industrial processes. Problem: Species-rich wild forests are being destroyed, especially in the tropics, often to make way for cattle ranching, soybean or palm oil plantations, or other agricultural monocultures. After oceans, soils represent the planet's largest carbon bank. Those 324 people were among the 310 million passengers who flew that year. And this last point remains a strength and a weakness simultaneously. In the meantime, the researchers hope their work will contribute to conservation, the maintenance of ecosystem services and biodiversity-oriented public policy. They range from climate change, to pollution, to deforestation and beyond. Soils store more carbon than all the world's forests combined. "We focus on the big groups rather than on the details. Coal is king in India, but a local initiative is taking action to change that. Gradualism Examples in Society and Politics. Delivered Wednesdays and Fridays. That Will Seem Normal in 2027. Thus, natural selection is constantly influencing the evolution of species. "At the end of the day, good environmental stewardship is good business, and good data builds good AI.". The result: climate disruption. Artificial selection is the identification by humans of desirable traits in plants and animals, and the steps taken to enhance and perpetuate those traits in future generations. Last year, the Brazilian government announced it would limit the destruction of the rainforest until 2020 to less than 4,000 square kilometers per year by increasing patrols. The world is embarking on its sixth mass extinction event, the current study concludes. The earth is also dug up to get to raw materials. Artificial intelligence is being used to prove the case that plants that burn carbon-based fuels aren't profitable. The gold rush is threatening their lives. AI has already been applied to several environmental problems, said Brandon Purcell, principal analyst at Forrester. During the past century, animals have been disappearing about 100 times faster than they used to, scientists from different American universities warned in a new study. Its area fell from 4,100,000 square kilometers in 1970 to 3,300,000 square kilometers in 2016. Much of this remainder has been degraded by  logging or burning. But there's also a lot of unstructured data in the form of images, video, audio, and text. About 12 million hectares of farmland a year get seriously degraded, according to UN estimates. Alison DeNisco Rayome is a senior editor at CNET, leading a team covering software, apps and services. (Source: WorldBank), We are becoming city people instead. "Sometimes there's a very small change that ends up being a big problem, but we miss it because we are not that detail-oriented when it comes to very large amount of data," Brethenoux said. Though many animals build things to provide a better environment for themselves, they are not human , hence beaver dams , and the works of mound-building termites , are thought of as natural. Herbs and even the sugar plants themselves can become the foundation of … SEE: Smart farming: How IoT, robotics, and AI are tackling one of the biggest problems of the century (cover story PDF) (TechRepublic). The situation is particularly dramatic in the country's second largest city, Lahore. The IUCN's Red List of threatened and endangered species continues to grow. Brazil’s Para state saw the heaviest clearing. Three Gorges Dam, China. About 7.3 million hectares (18 million acres) of forest are destroyed each year, mostly in the tropics. For purposes of AI, perception is the process of transforming something from the environment into internal representations (memories, beliefs, etc.). The study is based on documented extinctions of vertebrates - or animals with internal skeletons - from fossil records and other historical data. Air pollution is one of Pakistan's main environmental concerns. The modern rate of species loss was compared to "natural rates of species disappearance before human activity dominated." In 2016, the proportion had dropped to 45 percent. Eighth grader builds IBM Watson-powered AI chatbot for students making college plans. The causes of species loss are mostly manmade. Reforestation. In the rainy season, the highway often turns into an impassable mud track. Contact Solutions: A wide range of soil conservation and restoration techniques exist, from no-till agriculture to crop rotation to water-retention through terrace-building. Artificial intelligence remains inhuman. (Source: Mongabay). But the bad news is that even though renewable energy infrastructure - solar panels, wind turbines, energy storage and distribution systems - are already widespread, and getting cheaper and more efficient all the time, experts say we're not applying them quickly enough to prevent catastrophic climate disruption. For example, if a robot uses its camera to determine that there is a wall in front of it, then it is using perception. ", SEE: Earth Day: Green Tech Tips & Tricks (TechRepublic on Flipboard). In earlier extinction events, such as the Ice Age, only two out of 10,000 mammals died out per century - such as this primordial horse. Sandstorms, like here in Riyadh, can contribute to smog forming because they increase the amount of particles in the air. Well, there's still plenty in the ground and we should keep it there if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change. The use of technology, concepts are seen in a physical environment which is directly influencing during the making … Context - Human well-being is highly dependent on ecosystems and the benefits they provide such as food and drinkable water. This photo from Germany shows how brown coal mining strips away the topsoil. But mankind uses lots of wood and the lung is shrinking. These results are estimations, since humans don't know exactly what happened throughout the course of Earth's history. (Source: Worldbank), Do you ever think about oil? It's the environment that affects the way of life of the society, including natural, social and cultural values that exist in a place and time. The exact figure is hard to come by but estimations draw a relatively a clear picture. The American black bear is one of more than 22,000 species threatened with extinction. Artificial intelligence techniques are now used to monitor endangered species, track diseases, and optimize crops. Microorganisms are suffocated under this artificial surface, and above it rainwater flows away rather than seeping into the soil. It is a ski resort in a desert and it has snow too! Artificial selection operates in the same way, but instead of Mother Nature being in control, humans are the ones who are initiated the evolution process. This requires strong governance - but many tropical countries are still developing, with increasing populations, uneven rule-of-law, and widespread cronyism and bribery when it comes to allocating land use. You can find more information in our data protection declaration. Barriers in policy and finance remain to be overcome. Privacy Policy | But forty years after the ground was broken on Brazil’s famous federal highway BR 230, the gigantic project is still not finished. When hail is predicted in the forecast, the company can text its clients and ask them to park their car in a garage if possible, or avoid the area. When that environment changes, then natural selection begins again so that those who use the habitat can continue to evolve. According to the WWF, around 70 species go extinct every day. With advances in machine learning and deep learning, we can now tap the predictive power of AI to make better data-driven models of environmental processes to improve our ability to study current and future trends, including water availability, ecosystems wellbeing, and pollution, she added. DW's half-hour radio show and podcast brings you environment stories from around the globe. Gradualism doesn't just happen in evolution. This should be done in partnership with locals, so that wildlife conservation is in their social and economic interest. Humanity entered the 20th century with 1.6 billion people; right now, we're about 7.5 billion. Through resource extraction, land that could provide wildlife habitat, or be used for agriculture or human habitation, is lost. How to become a machine learning engineer: A cheat sheet, Robotic process automation: A cheat sheet (free PDF), Special report: How to implement AI and machine learning (free PDF), How self-driving tractors, AI, and precision agriculture will save us from the impending food crisis (cover story PDF), Smart farming: How IoT, robotics, and AI are tackling one of the biggest problems of the century (cover story PDF), Special report: Managing AI and ML in the enterprise (free PDF), The Internet of Wild Things: Technology and the battle against biodiversity loss and climate change (cover story PDF), What is AI? Fukatsoft Kids section also provided you best moral stories for kids and children. Climatic factors like drought become a catalyst in a chain reaction - that is set in motion by human activity. Environmental problems typically involve complex processes that scientists do not yet fully understand, and for which we have limited available resources, said Bistra Dilkina, associate director of the USC Center for AI in Society and a member of the Association for Computing Machinery. AI can also play a key role in enhancing environmental decision and policy-making work, by bringing an algorithmic approach to that work, Dilkina said. And environmental groups don’t want that to change. Inclusive AI: Are AI hiring tools hurting corporate diversity? But of course, it’s not human. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. | Mobile version, Your picks: Top environment stories of 2016, 1. Burning of fossil fuels, deforestation for agriculture, and industrial activities have pushed up atmospheric CO2 concentrations from 280 parts per million (ppm) 200 years ago, to about 400 ppm today. 1. The illegally cleared areas in the Amazon region are often used by cattle breeders as pasture land. Although an artificial sweetener is a synthetic sugar substitute, it can be made from naturally occurring substances from the environment around us.