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New Zealand Industry Body: AI Key to Climate Change Issues

A New Zealand industry body is encouraging everyone to stop the inaction and pitch in to contribute to planetary and environmental issues. Human effort apart, Artificial Intelligence (AI) must be relied on to be able to identify hidden patterns and win the war against climate change.

Madeline Newman, Executive Director of AI Forum NZ, a non-profit government-supported industry body that is working directly with NZTech, detailed that leaving to chance the negative impact brought about by climate change and the rapidly-declining biodiversity is no longer an option. The results of not doing anything are tremendous and are rising at exponential rates.

However, more than rousing people to action, Newman pointed out that AI is key to curbing the ill effects of climate change. The emerging technology can help uncover patterns that are not immediately apparent that should pave the way to solve these pressing issues.

In this regard, she disclosed that there is still a lot to do. In New Zealand, one in every five businesses has already deployed AI in their organisations. However, only 7% are actually engaged in core practices that support AI adoption to the utmost. Further, about 17% of Aoteroan enterprises do not consider AI use at all.

The majority of these New Zealand companies are still testing the waters, with just about a third taking the plunge and initiating their AI implementation. Most of those who apply AI limit its use to single processes for business or are contented with ad hoc pilot programmes. In terms of costs, running an ad hoc AI pilot programme could be a great start to understanding how to fully integrate AI into one’s business processes, the industry leader added.

That is exactly why the AI Forum NZ was formed with the help of the government. They are a “rich resource” for those Aoteroan organisations that need AI advice and expertise. Their AI-based report tackling environmental challenges is proof that it works.

Madeline reiterated the great potential that AI has in providing better outcomes for New Zealand when it comes to the environment. Not only can AI be used to be able to understand the problem better but also it can be a great tool in coming up with a solution that should benefit everyone on the planet and New Zealand.

Moreover, she detailed how their AI-based environmental reports put the limelight on five promising environmental outcomes with the help of artificial intelligence solutions. These outcomes involve the following:

  • Biodiversity boosts the protection of flora and fauna both on land and in the waters
  • A better understanding of land use
  • Reduction of pollution
  • Protection for marine and freshwater resources
  • Reduction of the ill effects of climate change

Newman is confident that positive change will happen. She cited TAIO, an environmental programme led by the University of Waikato that advances groundbreaking Machine Learning (ML) methodologies to handle large-scale Aoteroan environmental data.

There are a lot of ways New Zealand has deployed digital solutions to environmental issues. An example of this is the recently-deployed drone-based fog-busting technology. Fog can be a serious hazard as it can cause flights to be postponed indefinitely creating confusion and disrupting services.

Also, NZTech leaders have spelt out the need for Aoteroan cities to rely on location-enabled digital technology to have the upper hand in fighting climate change issues. The application of disruptive digital technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) in Wellington’s award-winning Digital Cities proves a better future exists for the nation as reported on OpenGov Asia.


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