We all know how AI-based systems can be a real burden to your company’s energy bill and to reaching global climate goals. How about exploring AI’s capabilities to achieve the opposite? By deploying artificial intelligence to reduce your carbon footprint instead of enlarging it, you cannot only help the planet but also improve your company’s profits.
AI-based systems are highly compute-intensive. They must process a great deal of data, expanding the need for servers and dependence on energy to cool data centers. No wonder the adoption of AI within an organization will increase the company’s energy use. To put that in context: training AI models can produce the carbon dioxide equivalent of five times the lifetime emissions of an American car or 300 round-trip flights between San Francisco and New York.
That’s not a sustainable model. So it’s time to break the negative spiral.
When looking at your own industry, think about three areas where AI is likely to have a positive impact on environmental sustainability:
In our Round Table and our Hackathon, we will explore these opportunities together with you.
Big chance that it is. AI can be a net positive contributor to environmental sustainability in almost any industry. Some examples to inspire you:
In agriculture, AI can transform production by better monitoring and managing environmental conditions and crop yields. AI can help reduce fertilizer and water, all while improving crop yields.
In energy, AI can use deep predictive capabilities and intelligent grid systems to manage the demand and supply of renewable energy. By more accurately predicting weather patterns, AI can optimize efficiency, cutting costs and unnecessary carbon pollution generation.
In transportation, AI can help reduce traffic congestion, improve supply chain logistics, and enable autonomous driving capabilities. AI can support businesses with demand forecasting, helping to reduce the amount of transport needed.
In water resource management, AI can help reduce or eliminate waste while lowering costs and lessening environmental impact. AI-driven localized weather forecasting will help reduce water usage.
In manufacturing, AI can help reduce waste and energy use in production facilities. AI can design more precise and efficient systems.
In facilities management, AI can maximize the efficiency of heating and cooling. AI can help optimize energy use in buildings by tracking the number of people in a room or predicting the availability of renewable energy sources.
In materials science, AI can help researchers find new materials for solar panels, for turning the heat back into electricity, and help find absorbent materials that take CO2 out of the atmosphere.
AI uses a great deal of energy, and most companies have yet to learn how to measure their environmental impact. We need to stir up the debate around AI’s environmental impact. Join us on November 16 or 18 to get started.
Round Table, November 16: Register for the AI Roundtable on Sustainability in Manufacturing
Hackathon, November 18: Register for the Microsoft Sustainability Hackathon
This article is part of the AI Innovation Series, organized by the AI Innovation Center. The series focuses on the application of AI in the manufacturing industry. Learn more here.
For those still struggling with the role of AI within their manufacturing company and the ones that have already made the first steps, our AI in Manufacturing Innovation Series is the ideal starting point for your next steps. Read more about the activities here.