Forward strides in technology and artificial intelligence continue to have exciting applications to 'do good.' The 'tech for good' sector has been thriving for over a decade and has innovative new approaches for climate change.
How data monitoring can save the rain-forests
'Saving the Rainforest' has been a central refrain of climate change protestors for years, but the methodology is changing with new tech. Rainforest destruction emits just under one-fifth of the earth's greenhouse gas emissions annually, and in tropical environments, up to 90% of logging is illegal. Rainforest Connection is tackling this problem by using Google's TensorFlow machine learning platform – which allows them to use acoustic monitoring to listen out for illegal activity. The AI uses deep learning to sift through the soundscape and alert authorities, using the masses of 24/7 data to save the rain-forest.
Save time on your commute and help save the planet
AI is increasingly taking on the poor air quality and emissions caused by city traffic, with applications such as Moscow's Intelligent transport system that aims to monitor traffic and use the data to ease congestion. Of course, these intelligent monitoring systems do not solve the root cause of air pollution, but Beijing has seen a 20% reduction in airborne pollutants since beginning to use their data to regulate traffic in the worst affected areas of the city.
Aside from improving air quality and reducing congestion, commuters could also enjoy a reduction in their commutes by 15-20% on average by 2025 in cities that use smart-mobility applications. What's not to like?!
Legal Tech's green credentials
AI continues to make firms greener, particularly through the increasing adoption of cloud-based storage. Rather than the overflowed filing cabinets for all matter related documents of years gone by, many of these can now be digitally stored. This has the advantage of many people being able to access key documents at the same time and sharing their edits in real-time without the need for photocopying.
Although the necessary IT servers for cloud-based storage use power, the paper reduction is significant. While many legal letters and documents will remain paper-based; mobile tablets, e-books and a renewed focused on recycling encourage more environmentally friendly solutions.
There’s another lively discussion to be had – not about where paper comes from and goes to, but whether we should use it at all.