Artificial Intelligence (AI) has long since found its place in our everyday lifes, in companies and in industry – whether it is as a search engine, a personal voice assistant or robots and autonomous machines programmed for specific activities. However, projects, start-ups, companies, and research projects that are developing and testing the use of AI to protect the environment or the climate are still an exception: A keyword search on Crunchbase by reset.org in June 2020 for the DBUfunded publication Greenbook (1): Künstliche Intelligenz – Können wir mit Rechenleistung unseren Planeten retten? [Artificial Intelligence – Can Computing Power Save Our Planet?] (RESET 2020) revealed around 400 AI start-ups with a sustainability focus – compared to a total of almost 20,000 AI start-ups worldwide. A similar picture emerges in research. Even though there is an increasing number of studies that focuses on individual areas of application of AI in the context of sustainability, so far there are no studies at either a European or an international level that enable us to thoroughly evaluate research activities in this field. A short study commissioned by the German Environment Agency comes to the same conclusion (UBA 2019). When looking at specific AI applications, it becomes clear that there is a large range of different areas where it is possible to apply AI to protect the environment and the climate, and that intelligent algorithms are in fact already proving to be highly effective (RESET 2020).
For the whole article see: Digitalisation and Sustainability. 2021. Ökologisches Wirtschaften.