Mar 23, 2020
Artificial Intelligence for Sustainability
The paper examines the various emerging and existing use case of AI for sustainability solutions in Indian context.
In light of discussion around AI’s role in the global environmental sphere, this paper first presents emerging use cases of AI for sustainability in both the global and Indian context. This paper is based on inputs from the AI for Sustainability lab as well as desk research. The aim of the paper is to identify the likely challenges and risks in the use of AI for sustainability in order to initiate policy discourse in India.
The subsequent section discusses the different categories under which AI applications have been developed in relation to environmental sustainability challenges in general. The following section outlines the emerging applications and use cases of AI for sustainability in India specifically, focusing on five areas—agriculture, energy, environmental monitoring, wildlife conservation, and water systems. This is followed by a section on the analysis of challenges and risks posed by the development and deployment of AI-based technologies.
- Even within a single country, the interaction between the different elements and stakeholders in the case of AI use will vary. It is therefore necessary to take stock of the sociological contexts in which real world AI applications are being embedded.
- Development of AI- based applications in agriculture, smart cities and infrastructure, smart mobility and transportation are likely to have a direct impact on sustainability and the environment.
- The use of AI raises complex, ethical concerns around collection of data, loss of human control, bias in algorithms, data- driven monopolisation, and the resource costs of developing and deploying energy- intensive AI systems.
- Life-cycle assessments of AI’s energy use, material use and waste generation will eventually be needed to weigh against its environmental and sustainability outcomes for different areas.