Guest Written by Kate Parish
The population of the Earth is growing, and its needs are also increasing. Sadly, this leads to faster natural resource depletion. Consumers understand the importance of environmental protection and don’t want animals and people to suffer during the production process. Scientists continuously warn us about the need to take urgent measures to change the situation before it’s too late. But how can the processes and collaborative effort be optimized?
Local governments are already using various Internet of Things solutions for smart cities. Among the efforts, AI has great potential in observing oceans, forests, and climate. It is ready to accurately, unobtrusively, and inexpensively collect wildlife data and predict routes.
In this article, we’ll talk about how AI can find implementation for a greener future.
Potential Use of AI for Environmental Benefit
AI's capabilities extend beyond smart chatbots, enhancing UX for eCommerce search, and tailoring personalized marketing campaigns. It can be used for many more purposes including global ones.
No doubt, humanity desperately needs to achieve ecological sustainability. And artificial intelligence could be one of the most crucial keys to it. But how exactly will it be tomorrow's reality and that of the distant future? Let's try to figure it out.
1. More Livable Cities
AI technologies help to make cities more comfortable to live in by working in collaboration with smart sensors and the Internet of Things (interconnected devices that receive and transmit data).
How exactly does AI help to improve the city environment?
a) Monitoring the situation
One way to use AI technologies is to monitor various parameters of the city. For example, smart sensors are tracking weather conditions in real-time. The analysis of the received data helps monitor the urban environment and make cities more livable.
AI can also help develop legislation on zoning, construction, and detect areas with a high probability of flooding. All of this helps minimize the possible damage caused by natural disasters.
b) Enhancing waste management
The application of AI in the disposal of waste has already been tested in many cities worldwide. Waste bins and containers are equipped with sensors that monitor the level of the filling. When the time comes, they send a message to the cleaning company via a network that it is time to pick up the trash. The system also optimizes waste collection routes, eliminating unnecessary trips.
c) Improving water and electricity supply
Many cities are adopting AI-based solutions that can determine in real-time the electricity demand in different areas and reroute it accordingly. Smart sensors are also often placed in water pipes where they monitor for weaknesses or leaks, detecting breakdowns quickly.
These factors play a crucial role in the operation of both systems and can significantly improve the lives of urban citizens.
2. Regulation of Land Transport
AI-based technologies make it possible to regulate city traffic. Cameras and sensors placed on roads collect a vast volume of data about the traffic situation. It sends the information to the cloud to analyze it using AI technology. As a result, the AI obtains valuable insights such as traffic jams, road blockages, and accidents in real-time.
Thanks to this, people are alerted about the best route to their destination as quickly as possible.In this way, AI reduces road blockages and helps to shorten the journey. That, in turn, reduces the pollution level by lowering the volume of carbon emissions.
How else can AI help in this respect?
The aspect of AI use that works for the environment's benefit is the wide spread of electric transport that significantly reduces fuel consumption.
Also, AI-powered self-driving vehicles are actively being adopted, which will eventually replace personal transport. Thanks to that, the number of accidents caused by human error in the future will be decreased.
Image credit: Cruise LLC
One of the ground-breaking applications of AI in transportation is pilotless helicopters or drone taxis. This is a unique solution designed to minimize carbon emissions, relieve cities from traffic jams, and reduce the need for road construction and development. One of the most popular cab drones that found practical application is the Ehang 184, manufactured in China.
3. Improving the Efficiency of Agriculture
AI is rapidly transforming agriculture, providing companies with advanced ways to obtain essential data about ongoing processes.
Many scientists believe AI will play a crucial role in food production. This is especially important considering that the global population is expected to grow by 2 billion people by 2050, which requires a 60% increase in food production (according to the UN data).
AI technologies make it possible to optimize various processes in this area, for example, the cultivation of multiple plants while reducing the negative impact on the environment. So it's no surprise that the cost of adopting AI technologies and solutions in agriculture is projected to grow from $1 billion as of 2020 to $4 billion in 2026.
How is AI already assisting in agriculture?
AI helps to monitor via smart sensors many vital parameters such as:
Storage and transit conditions.
These make it possible to increase the volume of crops grown and reduce expenses.
AI features are applied through drones that collect important information about environmental conditions. Automated systems calculate the best time for planting, watering crops, and harvesting by analyzing the data obtained. It also helps to recognize various diseases and other problems.
If we talk about sustainable development in terms of agriculture, AI can reduce water and fertilizer consumption. In addition, these technologies help prevent the soil's oversaturation with chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides.
Generally speaking, AI technology can improve agricultural efficiency and increase yields. But these are just a tiny part of its benefits.
Which other similar spheres is AI used in?
AI is also used in raising livestock and poultry to improve animal health and increase profits. It makes it easier to keep track of several essential components, for example:
Furthermore, it helps to:
Detect sick animals among healthy ones;
Identify signs of suspicious behavior;
Control the population;
Calculate the production efficiency of milk, eggs, meat, and other products.
AI also allows for automating the care processes: feeding, grazing, grooming, and cleaning.
Scientists warn that humanity does not have much time left to reverse the global environmental changes, the negative consequences of which we are already experiencing. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find ways to lessen the effects of global transformations, such as climate change, the loss of species diversity, and air pollution. The power of artificial intelligence can provide essential help in ensuring environmental protection and sustainable development.
About the Author
Kate Parish is the Chief Marketing Officer at Onilab with over 8 years of experience in Digital Marketing in the sphere of eCommerce web development. Kate always aspires to broaden her competency in line with cutting-edge global trends. Her primary areas of professional interest include SEO, branding, PPC, SMM, Magento PWA development, and online retail in general.