No Match Found
Scientists have identified that four of the nine Earth processes and systems, climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change and altered cycles in the globe’s chemistry have now crossed “boundary levels”. While these challenges are urgent and unprecedented, they coincide with an era of unparalleled innovation and technological change: the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). We set out how the 4IR, and in particular Artificial Intelligence (AI), can help solve environmental challenges, from climate change to biodiversity. In collaboration with the World Economic Forum, we discuss how AI ethics and safety needs to be extended to include “Earth-friendly” AI. Otherwise, left-unguided, AI has the potential to exacerbate, and even accelerate current environmental problems.
There is mounting scientific consensus that the Earth systems are under unprecedented stress. The model of human and economic development, developed during past industrial revolutions, has largely come at the expense of the planet. Our climate, water, air, biodiversity, forests and oceans are under increasing strain. Making the 4IR a sustainable revolution is the opportunity of this generation. The systems change required to deliver a clean, resource-secure and inclusive economy can be enabled by technology and supported by public policy and investment. But these same technological advances could also have unintended consequences in accelerating risks to the Earth and society if they are not designed and scaled in a ‘smart’ and sustainable way. Setting the course for a ‘responsible’ 4IR now, will be key to tackling our planet’s urgent environmental, social, and economic challenges. To ensure the 4IR is a sustainable revolution we conclude our reports with recommended actions for companies, governments, investors, and research institutions.