SustAInability? The Role of Artificial Intelligence for Climate and Environment roundtable discussion

SustAInability? The Role of Artificial Intelligence for Climate and Environment roundtable discussion 1536 856 ITCC

Clara Nepell, head of ITCC, recently engaged in a roundatble discussion titled “SustAInability? The Role of Artificial Intelligence for Climate and Environment.” This workshop, held on 12 March 2024 in Berlin, Germany is part of the event series “AITech Dialogues” organised by The Aspen Institute Germany in cooperation with Microsoft Germany. At the event experts from politics, business, science, and civil society discussed on the potential of AI in fostering climate-friendly practices and ecological sustainability.

AI-driven applications offer promising ways to combat the climate crisis, for example, by optimizing the effectiveness of resource-intensive processes, identifying environmental protection measures, and uncovering opportunities for CO2 reduction. At the same time, these technologies are also associated with high consumption of electricity and resources, particularly in data centers. Particularly in the pressing environmental and climate area, it is clear that the rapid advances in machine learning, computing capacity, and data processing are leading to new challenges but also to new solutions. To highlight and discuss these issuses the participants focussed on the following questions:

  • How can a sustainable and pioneering approach to AI be shaped that does not hinder innovation but at the same time contributes to climate and environmental protection?
  • What obstacles currently exist to using AI effectively for climate and environmental measures?
  • What innovative approaches are there to using AI in areas such as renewable energy, emissions reduction, intelligent resource management, and environmental monitoring?
  • Where are the greatest opportunities for international democratic cooperation?
  • What role should the transatlantic partnership, particularly the EU-US Trade and Technology Council, play in this endeavor?

Speakers at the event included:

  • Maik Außendorf, MdB, Digital Policy Spokesperson, Parliamentary Group Alliance 90/The Greens;
  • Dr. Marcel Dickow, Head of Unit Digitalization and Sustainability, German Environment Agency (UBA);
  • Dr. Jennifer Pernau, Government Affairs Manager, Microsoft Berlin,
  • Elena Poughia, Managing Director, Dataconomy and Founder, Data Natives, and
  • Michael Schultz, Head of Division for Principles of National and International Digital Policy, Digitalisation and Sustainability, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).

Clara Neppel from IEEE, in a follow up post to the event, highlighted how the IEEE Technology Center for Climate is committed to further collaborations on the intersection of sustainability and artificial intelligence, and assessing, measuring and addressing climate and environmental challenges.

More about the project
The project AITech Dialogues: AI for Sustainable and Just Societies is designed to address existing and emerging AI technologies, particularly with regard to ethical considerations of their impact and the required governance. The next event in the series will take place on 21 May 2024 at the Aspen Germany.