by Lucas N. Joppa
Earlier this year, I became Microsoft’s first chief environment scientist. I’ve been tasked with deploying the company’s deep investments in artificial intelligence (AI) research and technology to help people around the world monitor, model and ultimately manage Earth’s natural systems.
Most people I meet are surprised that one of the world’s leading technology companies has a role such as mine. Yet I believe that in the next few years, every major tech firm will be working on applying AI to sustainability.
It is the ethical thing to do. It is good for business. And the time is right: applications of the type that I and others have long been developing can now work at scale. That is why, in 2017, Microsoft put US$50 million into a 5-year programme called AI for Earth (see ‘Microsoft for Earth’ and www.microsoft.com/aiforearth).
Read the whole story in Nature here: The case for technology investments in the environment