The tech giant Microsoft is deploying artificial intelligence to the task of protecting our planet. Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and chief legal officer, announced on Dec. 11 that the company would be investing $50 million in their AI for Earth program over the next five years in order to "monitor, model, and manage the Earth's natural systems."
In December 2017, two years after the Paris climate accord was adopted, French President Emmanuel Macron led government, business and civic leaders in a conference called The One Planet Summit. President Trump, who earlier in the year announced his commitment to withdraw the U.S. from the historic climate accord, was not invited. At this event, Microsoft's President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith announced the company would be committing $50 million over the following five years as part of a new strategy to provide access to artificial intelligence (AI) for groups and people who want to use it for the good for the planet. Microsoft's AI for Earth, a program with the goal of using AI to address environmental challenges, launched six months before this announcement.
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.
On the two-year anniversary of the Paris climate accord, the world's government, civic and business leaders are coming together in Paris to discuss one of the most important issues and opportunities of our time, climate change. I'm excited to lead the Microsoft delegation at these meetings. While the experts' warnings are dire, at Microsoft we believe technology advances can help us better understand and address the environmental issues facing our planet. That's why we're announcing in Paris that we are broadening our AI for Earth program with an expanded strategic plan and committing $50 million over the next five years to put artificial intelligence technology in the hands of individuals and organizations around the world who are working to protect our planet.