Microsoft has pledged USD 50 million towards expanding the AI for Earth project over the period of next five years. The company had made the announcement earlier this week at the two-year anniversary of the Paris climate accord.
AI for Earth is a project with which Microsoft aims to provide solutions to some of the grave environmental problems which the world is facing today by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence.
Microsoft had launched the project way back in July and had initially committed USD 2 million towards the project thereby making the recent announcement the second tranche of investment that the company is making towards the project.
Through the AI for Earth project, Microsoft will provide access to its cloud services and AI computing resources to researchers and organisations who are working towards solving issues relating to water, agriculture and biodiversity.
“We are excited by the potential of putting artificial intelligence in the hands of researchers and organizations to drive new data insights that will help solve important issues related to water, agriculture, biodiversity and climate change,” the company had said in a statement when the project was launched in July.
“The scale and speed of the changes we see in our physical and natural world require new solutions. But the latest innovative technologies often come with a price tag and require computational expertise that puts them out of reach for many researchers and nongovernmental organizations,” it said.
Through the AI for Earth project, Microsoft plans not only to contribute towards providing solution to environmental problems but it is also looking to democratise AI, which means AI will be made accessible to the entire community of developers, customers and users.
Of late, companies such as Microsoft and Google are increasingly utilising the capabilities of AI and machine learning technology and are implementing these in fields such as environment, healthcare, banking, retail.Though AI has been around for several decades now, its true potential has only come to the fore recently as companies are now in possession of vast amount of data collected over the years.