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AI Emerged as the Main Talk of the COP28 Climate Summit

CIO Insider Team | Monday, 4 December, 2023
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The UN climate summit in Dubai, COP28, has seen artificial intelligence emerge as a major player in the first few days of proceedings.

Prominent scientists and entrepreneurs have mesmerized the audience with forecasts that the rapidly developing technology may expedite global endeavors to tackle climate change and adjust to increasing temperatures.

The potential for AI advances in the battle against rising global temperatures stems from the system's capacity to handle enormous amounts of data.

This enables it to generate insights and efficiency with a wide range of climatic applications that far surpass the capabilities of computers and data scientists.

On the first day of the summit, the UN announced that it was working with Microsoft on an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to monitor if nations are honoring their commitments to cut back on fossil fuel emissions. This partnership will help to resolve one of the most challenging problems in global climate diplomacy.

Research showcasing AI's ability to lower emissions from industries and food production, find new renewable energy projects, and balance electricity loads during extreme weather occurrences was presented by other groups.

The relative advantages of AI on climate change, according to researchers and corporate leaders, should offset the substantial energy consumption needed to run it.

During a panel discussion on Sunday morning, business executives stated that artificial intelligence (AI) was already assisting their companies in providing alerts to individuals who could be affected by flooding, texting farmers facing drought with hyperlocal planting advice, and assisting people exposed to high levels of air pollution in determining the safest times to go outside.

Executives at the corporations creating AI technology have already issued a warning, comparing the potential threat to human extinction with that of nuclear war.

A distinct risk that has drawn attention from researchers at COP28 is the possibility that powerful AI would require a significant amount of processing power. That voraciousness for electricity might increase emissions and exacerbate climate change.

The relative advantages of AI on climate change, according to researchers and corporate leaders, should offset the substantial energy consumption needed to run it. However, they were unsure.

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