Protecting Biodiversity with Artificial Intelligence

Dr. Lucas Joppa, Chief Environmental Scientist at Microsoft

One of the many promising capabilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is its potential application to better understanding our natural environment.

The world is experiencing a catastrophic loss of biodiversity. We know that species are going extinct at a rapid pace, with about two-thirds of wild animal species projected to be lost by 2020. These extinctions will have devastating impacts on the ecosystems that humans rely on as well. As our population grows, the need to leverage the digital revolution and the power of big data to better understand our impact on the environment has never been greater.

Today, in an op-ed for a sponsored content page of The Guardian, Dr. Lucas Joppa, Chief Environmental Scientist at Microsoft, discussed how AI and associated technologies can help stem the loss of biodiversity and protect our future by collecting critical environmental data, so that conservation efforts and resources can be deployed efficiently and cost-effectively. To realize the full scope of what is possible will take a coordinated effort from all of us, including industry, government, and the academic and nonprofit sectors. It won’t be easy, but by applying the power of AI to help both humans and our natural systems thrive, we can help ensure a better future.

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