Announcing its plan to broaden the AI for Earth programme, Microsoft has pledged $50 million over the next five years to put artificial intelligence technology in the hands of those who are working to mitigate climate change. Microsoft rolled out the AI for Earth programme six months ago with an aim to put the power of artificial intelligence towards tackling environmental challenges. "At Microsoft, we believe artificial intelligence is a game changer. Our approach as a company is focused on democratising AI so its features and capabilities can be put to use by individuals and organisations around the world to improve real-world outcomes," Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith wrote in a blog post on Monday. The announcement came on the eve of the second anniversary of the Paris Agreement.
When it comes to the power consumption of hospitals, the diagnosis isn't pretty: they rate as the second most energy-intensive of all commercial buildings, behind only food service providers. As the places where our babies are delivered, our sick are treated and our dying nursed, energy efficiency understandably slips down the priority list behind ensuring hospitals are properly funded, staffed and offer the best standards of care possible. That, says Peter Newman, professor of sustainability at Western Australia's Curtin University, is exactly why they continue to gobble up so much electricity. The co-author of the Curtin University hospitals and sustainability paper says energy consumption is "the last thing [healthcare providers] normally worry about when trying to save people's lives. Keeping an even temperature is important so a big HVAC [heating, ventilation and air conditioning] system is needed.
Steven Pinker is a cognitive psychologist, linguist, and author of Bill Gates' two favorite books. However, his latest – Enlightenment Now – has some serious shortcomings centering on Pinker's misperceptions about climate change polarization. Pinker falls into the trap of'Both Siderism,' acknowledging the Republican Party's science denial, but also wrongly blaming liberals for the policy stalemate, telling Ezra Klein: