A Sustainable Future with AI

By May 1, 2019 May 22nd, 2019 News Posts

Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers tremendous potential for the economy and for the planet, finds a new study by PwC, commissioned by Microsoft.

AI for a sustainable future

Marc (L) and Meagan Kaiser discuss latest field data with their crop advisor.

According to How AI Can Enable a Sustainable Future, if the global agriculture sector was to effectively adopt artificial intelligence (AI) systems, GDP would increase by up to 0.3 percent while GHG emissions would fall by up to 0.3 percent.

Economic gains are driven by applications that enable precise monitoring of environmental conditions, allowing farmers to use just the right amount of inputs such as water or chemicals, and by tools that automate manual tasks, creating efficiencies and saving on labor costs.

Automation – or agricultural robotics – can also deliver benefits for the environment, cutting GHG emissions by reducing the use of fossil fuel in agricultural activities. Using AI to monitor crop, soil and livestock health can also make a difference by minimizing the negative environmental impacts associated with the overuse of inputs such as water and pesticides.

Achieving these gains, however, requires “the right infrastructure and complementary technologies”. Access to data is crucial, concludes the study. So too is the infrastructure needed to transmit and process that data.

Read the full report here.