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New Zealand AI to Save the Amazon Rainforest

Despite the fact that humans are capable of saving the planet from other environmental threats such as global warming, the globe continues to be negatively impacted.

Nonetheless, technology has been one of the pillars on which activists and scientists depend to save the world. For instance, there are currently environmental and sustainability projects using AI and big data to prevent forest fires and monitor wildlife. In fact, humans may become completely reliant on AI to monitor CO2 levels, calculate carbon footprints in real-time, and predict natural disasters.

A New Zealand analytics company had implemented the next generation of crowd-driven artificial intelligence in collaboration with a leading global research institute to power AI algorithms designed to help us better understand our planet.

The project began with over 44,000 satellite images, more than 38,000 of which have now been classified by volunteer users from 80 countries worldwide. The resulting data – covering more than 135,000 square miles of the Amazon rainforest so far – is being used to train AI algorithms, helping them better understand how to identify those features in satellite imagery and differentiate them from similar features.

Because image analysis is an important first step in the accurate assessment and projection of deforestation, the company encourages people to see what technology cannot see by examining and reporting on images of smaller incremental forestry incursions around the world.

When users launch the app, they will see an aerial image of a rainforest section divided into nine squares. They will then be asked to choose which of those squares, if any, exhibit signs of human development – for example, roads, which are often created by illegal logging operations to transport machinery in and trees out. After classifying one image, the user can proceed to classify as many as they want.

By using image data from this ecologically diverse territory, the computer vision model is given a variety of examples, so it can eventually learn to detect human impact anywhere in the Amazon rainforest. Citizen data scientists have also started classifying more recent images to identify where new human impact is occurring.

The companies are targeting the app at a wide range of casual and professional users ranging from students and classrooms to engineers. As for the research institution, the exercise is a proof of concept for broader applications of AI in ecological concerns around the world.

AI plays an important role in achieving not only environmental but all other Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) – from ending hunger and poverty to achieving sustainable energy and gender equality to protecting and preserving biodiversity.

Moreover, artificial intelligence has the potential to accelerate global efforts to protect the environment and conserve resources by detecting energy emission reductions, CO2 removal, assisting in the development of greener transportation networks, monitoring deforestation, and predicting extreme weather conditions.

Environmental companies in New Zealand have been developing a wide range of technologies to address sustainability issues. A New Zealand company has created an AI-based solution for the country’s carbon forestry. An article from OpenGov Asia reported that the device, CarbonCrop, is a tech-enabled solution developed by the company. It enables landowners to identify the extent of their carbon forestry opportunity without incurring any upfront costs or responsibilities. The product uses machine learning and remote sensing technology to identify, monitor and enhance forest carbon stocks and restoration alternatives. Furthermore, rather than a regulated approach, the company provide a consensual alternative for action.

In contrast, this global collaboration between research institutes, companies, industries, governments, and charities must begin for the best interest of the planet’s future quality of life. The possibilities are limitless. Data, AI and humans can collaborate to build these informative networks that will protect the planet and bring it back from the brink of global disaster.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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