Environmental Law


How artificial intelligence can tackle climate change

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AI can also unlock new insights from the massive amounts of complex climate simulations generated by the field of climate modeling, which has come a long way since the first system was created at Princeton in the 1960s. Of the dozens of models that have since come into existence, all look at data regarding atmosphere, oceans, land, cryosphere, or ice. But, even with agreement on basic scientific assumptions, Claire Monteleoni, a computer science professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder and a co-founder of climate informatics, points out that while the models generally agree in the short term, differences emerge when it comes to long-term forecasts.


AI for Earth: a gamechanger for our planet

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On 11 December 2017, at the One Planet Summit in Paris, Microsoft announced our $50m, five-year commitment to using AI to improve sustainability, known as AI for Earth. In the past year, the program has grown to support 233 grantees doing work with impact in more than 50 countries and all seven continents. We have also seen the science, from the IPCC and others, that indicate progress is still too slow and uneven to achieve a 2-degree future agreed to in the Paris Accord. Below, you'll see our vision for the program and in following pieces, you'll see how we're continuing to accelerate our efforts. On the two-year anniversary of the Paris climate accord, the world's political, civic and business leaders came together in Paris to discuss one of the most important issues and opportunities of our time: climate change.


How Machine Learning Can Help Your Business Fight Climate Change

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Machine learning (ML) is touted as a technology on the verge of changing how we plan and optimize not only our businesses, but also our lives. The onset of the climate crisis leads us to ask questions about how we can use this technology to help fight ― and eventually prevent ― overall climate change over the next few decades. I'd like to take a few minutes to help frame the discussion for anyone interested in using ML to combat this threat. However, it is important to understand that, like many other efforts aimed at combating climate change, it won't be a straight-forward and overnight process. Rather, it will require (re)thinking many of the ways we operate our businesses and ―even more ― how we operate as humans.


The robotics and AI revolution will, like climate change, disrupt life as we know it; what future will it herald for humans? - Firstpost

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Last week, a video went viral on social media around the world. It shows a robotic arm picking up a bowling ball, spinning its arm around, and hurling the ball down the lane at speed, sending all the bowling pins flying. It soon emerged that the very real-looking video was in fact fake, the work of a motion graphics designer who had hash-tagged it with words such as animation, rendering and CGI to indicate that it was computer-generated, before sharing on social media. Nonetheless, from the reactions it was clear that not everyone picked up the clues; many if not most people thought it was real. The impossibility of distinguishing between fake and real in images and videos is an everyday occurrence now, something we just have to live with.


Green-tech megacity taking shape in China

The Japan Times

HONG KONG - Entrepreneur Tony Verb is on a mission to promote technology that can help make cities greener and smarter in China's Greater Bay Area, now being shaped as a low-carbon megalopolis. Hong Kong-based Verb, co-founder of the investment firm GreaterBay Ventures & Advisors, plans to back urban tech businesses working on autonomous e-vehicles, flying taxis, artificial intelligence, robotics and clean energy. Verb is betting on China's master plan to develop the Pearl River Delta into a sustainable innovation hub, which he believes will serve as "a great case study" for the world's cities. In February, Beijing announced it would foster links between nine cities in Guangdong province and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao to forge the world's biggest urban area, with 70 million people. Under the Greater Bay Area (GBA) plan, each city has a different role, but the blueprint is centered on developing the delta in a high-tech way that also preserves its ecology.


AI, Robotics and the High-Tech Farm of the Future

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With increasing mouths to feed and environmental changes, there is a need for a revolution in the farming industry. AI offers data-driven solutions to boost productivity and efficiency. In farming, AI is usually short for "artificial insemination." But a different kind of AI, artificial intelligence, is showing great promise in solving some of agriculture's most significant challenges, from the need to increase productivity and profits to overcoming labor shortages to protecting the environment. Of all the industries AI is transforming, it's safe to say none have a greater human impact than farming.


Microsoft has been rated the most environmentally friendly company. Here's what it's doing right.

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Artificial intelligence can already help make medical diagnoses and weed out terrorists. Now Microsoft wants AI to make our planet greener. Ranked the No. 1 environmentally friendly company by the nonprofit Just Capital, the tech giant is finding innovative ways to combat climate change. Chief among them: a grant launched in 2017 that funds the use of AI to address global warming. The tech company also released code that can aid developers building such algorithms.


On the Constrained Least-cost Tour Problem

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We introduce the Constrained Least-cost Tour (CLT) problem: given an undirected graph with weight and cost functions on the edges, minimise the total cost of a tour rooted at a start vertex such that the total weight lies within a given range. CLT is related to the family of Travelling Salesman Problems with Profits, but differs by defining the weight function on edges instead of vertices, and by requiring the total weight to be within a range instead of being at least some quota. We prove CLT is $\mathcal{NP}$-hard, even in the simple case when the input graph is a path. We derive an informative lower bound by relaxing the integrality of edges and propose a heuristic motivated by this relaxation. For the case that requires the tour to be a simple cycle, we develop two heuristics which exploit Suurballe's algorithm to find low-cost, weight-feasible cycles. We demonstrate our algorithms by addressing a real-world problem that affects urban populations: finding routes that minimise air pollution exposure for walking, running and cycling in the city of London.


An efficient Lagrangian-based heuristic to solve a multi-objective sustainable supply chain problem

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Sustainable Supply Chain (SSC) management aims at integrating economic, environmental and social goals to assist in the long-term planning of a company and its supply chains. There is no consensus in the literature as to whether social and environmental responsibilities are profit-compatible. However, the conflicting nature of these goals is explicit when considering specific assessment measures and, in this scenario, multi-objective optimization is a way to represent problems that simultaneously optimize the goals. This paper proposes a Lagrangian matheuristic method, called $AugMathLagr$, to solve a hard and relevant multi-objective problem found in the literature. $AugMathLagr$ was extensively tested using artificial instances defined by a generator presented in this paper. The results show a competitive performance of $AugMathLagr$ when compared with an exact multi-objective method limited by time and a matheuristic recently proposed in the literature and adapted here to address the studied problem. In addition, computational results on a case study are presented and analyzed, and demonstrate the outstanding performance of $AugMathLagr$.


Robert Downey Jr. wants to use artificial intelligence to solve climate change

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Climate change: I am inevitable. Robert Downey Jr.: I am Iron Man. That's basically what went down during the opening keynote at Amazon's new re:MARS tech and innovation conference in Las Vegas. Avengers actor Robert Downey Jr. made the very Tony Stark-like announcement that he'd be launching a new organization focused on solving environmental woes using artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies. "Between robotics and technology, we could probably clean up the planet significantly, if not entirely, within a decade," he said on Tuesday night.