4 min read

What You Should Know About AI & Sustainability

Featured Image

Green Solutions from Artificial Intelligence

With climate change, pollution, and similar concerns at the forefront of consumer consciousness, sustainability can benefit businesses in more ways than one. Indeed, a recent research study by IBM and the National Retail Foundation suggests that 70% of North Americans say it is "important" for a brand to be eco-friendly.

Today, when consumer perception of sustainability begins to impact company profitability, business leaders turn to artificial intelligence (AI) for "green" solutions. Below, we explore two of these applications.

Designing Eco-Friendly Products.

All sorts of e-waste, from busted iPhones to automobiles, litter landfills around the world. In the future, AI could keep broken, redundant, or discarded electronics from adding to the pile by tracking product health. Naveen Joshi, CEO of Allerin, suggests that AI will soon allow companies to save money and the environment by helping to design more resilient, recyclable products.

"Major companies can use AI and IoT for environmental sustainability along with eco-friendly hardware to reduce the generation of e-waste. With proper techniques in place, the discarded devices can be refurbished and reused, saving millions of dollars for the enterprise in the manufacturing of new products."

"Using IoT and AI, businesses can develop systems to monitor their hardware. The system can detect and notify the consumer if the life cycle of a part is over or has turned faulty and guide the consumer through replacement procedures. An efficient IoT based AI-driven system can help decrease our carbon footprint."

Conserving Energy.

 In 2016, Google reduced its data center cooling bill by 40% using DeepMind AI. Tech entrepreneur and startup CEO Jim Gao, who led cooperation between DeepMind and Google, says,

"Reducing energy usage has been a major focus for [Google] over the past 10 years: we have built our own super-efficient servers...invented more efficient ways to cool our data centers and invested heavily in green energy sources, with the goal of being powered 100 percent by renewable energy. Compared to five years ago, we now get around 3.5 times the computing power out of the same amount of energy..."

Why Should Businesses Care?

Technology is an essential tool for business in the modern, digital world. However, it often demands huge amounts of energy and resources, which adds up to a not-insignificant expense. By helping to design and run energy-efficient products and systems, AI allows companies to benefit not only the environment but also their profit margins.

So, are you interested in going green? Want to know more about AI and sustainability? Synaptiq is here to help. Read about us here or contact us to set up an appointment.



Microsoft: AI for Earth (examples of pro-environment AI applications)

Forbes: How IoT And AI Can Enable Environmental Sustainability

  • According to a 2018 report by Intel, 74% of 200 business decision-makers in environmental sustainability agreed that AI would help solve environmental problems.
  • Using IoT and AI, businesses can develop systems to monitor their hardware. The system can detect and notify the consumer if the life cycle of a part is over or has turned faulty and guide the consumer through replacement procedures. An efficient IoT based AI-driven system can help decrease our carbon footprint.

National Geographic: How artificial intelligence can tackle climate change

TechRepublic: How AI could save the environment

  • 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%.
  • Organizations not directly involved in environmental causes can still often benefit from using AI to track these factors, Brethenoux said. For example, a US insurance firm has models to track hail, which damages cars and leads to expensive repairs. 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.

Recode: How AI can help us clean up our land, air, and water

  • In a Harvard Business Review study of 1,500 companies, it was found that the most significant performance improvements were made when humans and machines worked together.
  • ven technology already available today could reduce energy usage in the U.S. by 12 to 22 percent, according to The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI),

Columbia University: Artificial Intelligence—A Game Changer for Climate Change and the Environment

  • The company’s AI for Earth program has committed $50 million over five years to create and test new applications for AI. Eventually it will help scale up and commercialize the most promising projects.
  • Wind companies are using AI to get each turbine’s propeller to produce more electricity per rotation by incorporating real time weather and operational data. On large wind farms, the front row’s propellers create a wake that decreases the efficiency of those behind them. AI will enable each individual propeller to determine the wind speed and direction coming from other propellers, and adjust accordingly.
  • The Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory operated by Stanford University will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to identify vulnerabilities in the grid, strengthen them in advance of failures, and restore power more quickly when failures occur.

Additional Reading:

Cross-Species Communication? Researchers Say AI is the Key

Technology Could Help Us Understand Animals

Although animals don’t “speak” like us, they do communicate.  In 1973, ...

We Helped a Non-Profit Expand Road Access in Rural Rwanda

The Mission: Expanding Road Access in Rural Rwanda

In 2020, a non-profit set out to solve a problem: the lack of road...

Artificial Intelligence in the Wild: Helping Conservationists Save Species

Artificial Intelligence in the Wild

Scientists warn that we’re facing Earth's sixth “mass extinction.”

IExtinction is...