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Microsoft invests in ‘AI for Earth’

Microsoft announced this week it is investing a further $50 million in the company’s AI for Earth initiative.

The project strives to give stakeholders tackling climate change – ‘individuals and organisations’ – access to artificial intelligence (AI) tools that can accelerate their work.

“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 organisations around the world who are working to protect our planet,” blogged Brad Smith, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer.

He continued: “Data can help tell us about the health of our planet, including the conditions of our air, water, land and the well-being of our wildlife. But we need technology’s help to capture this vast amount of data and convert it into actionable intelligence. AI can be trained to classify raw data from sensors on the ground, in the sky or in space into categories that both humans and computers understand. Fundamentally, AI can accelerate our ability to observe environmental systems and how they are changing at a global scale, convert the data into useful information and apply that information to take concrete steps to better manage our natural resources.”

Microsoft is putting major resources into the project, which will also prioritise the development of AI platforms that can support efforts in four areas: climate, water, agriculture and biodiversity.

It will do this via seed grants, larger investments for more advanced innovations, and by the creation of products that can help companies take forward their sustainability plans.

And climate action is the hot topic at today’s One Planet Summit in Paris. Follow all the latest from the French capital on social media using the hashtag #OnePlanet

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