I watched a video recently about how AI is helping to save endangered species and forests. This heading caught my attention as I love nature and environmental studies and I am now working in the IT industry. I decided to read up a bit more on AI and also how it can help environmental issues. AI can process huge amounts of data in a short time period, which allows us to work on projects that would otherwise be impossible. AI will not save our planet, but is a way that will help us get there. Using AI, environmentalists are currently measuring Earth’s resources so that they can monitor and try to manage them.
The WildMe project is an example of this: It helps identify and track wildlife populations. Photographs of animals are uploaded onto an open source platform by researchers and citizens. An AI system identifies each animal by its markings and features and records the location and the time that the image was taken. This allows researchers and scientists to track migration patterns and this also lets the users track the animal that they took a photograph of.
Silviaterra project is using AI to improve forest management in America. The software uses satellite imagery to assess forests. The satellite imagery records species of the trees, their height and the density of the forest.
Microsoft partnered up with USC CAIS’s AI for Conservation program and is applying AI to wildlife protecting using unmanned aerial vehicles with infrared cameras and Microsoft Azure Machine Learning. This will help detect animals and poachers over a wide area. Many animals are being poached such as Rhinoceroses and Elephants, just to name a few. This project can help decrease the amount of animals poached and help species from becoming extinct.
The Yield has been working with farmers to deploy sensors throughout their fields for instant status updates on their crops. This is powered by the Azure IoT Suit. The sensors absorb this data and combine it with weather data in the Microsoft cloud, then The Yield uses machine learning to deliver applications that help farmers know when to plant, irrigate, feed, protect, and harvest their crops.
These are only a few projects that I have mentioned that are using AI to help contribute to save our planet and help solve environmental issues. There are a lot more out there and there are also many projects that are still in development. Instead of people spending thousands of hours just going through images for example, we can now save a lot of time with the help of AI.