How A.I. can help the planet stay cool
Climate change is happening at a rapid pace and in order to limit its impact we need a major game-changer. A.I. might be the one to solve it.
Most people know that we need to take action to save the planet. Sea levels are rising, deforestation is happening at an ever-faster rate, extreme weather occurs more frequently, and temperatures are rising. Enormous efforts are put into renewable energy sources, carbon-neutral lifestyles, and recycling.
Google and Atos want to do more, as we see many opportunities for innovative solutionsn to tackle climate change. Google has serious experience in using AI and ML, so why not put it to work for the greater good? So that's what we did. Let's go through a few examples of how Google used AI to save the environment.
Project Air View
Emissions are a major contributor to climate change and poor air quality. Project Air View aims to gain and publish insights into air quality at a hyperlocal level. Mapping air quality in specific places can help city planners reduce unhealthy emissions, let runners pick the “cleanest” workout route, and encourage asthmatic kids to scout out the healthiest commute to school. Learn more about this project here.
Solar energy offers a solution to many climate change problems, yet only a small percentage of its potential is currently in use. Project Sunroof aims to change this by providing information about the solar potential of every roof on Earth, helping society decide where to place solar panels. Project Sunroof uses Google’s image and map databases, 3D modeling of your rooftop, shadows cast by nearby trees and buildings, and historical cloud and sunshine data. The video below explains the project in more detail.
Environmental Insights Explorer
Together, these projects have produced huge amounts of data on subjects dealing with climate change. Google launched the Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) to combine these efforts. The EIE offers these data specifically for cities. Cities are given information about what their solar potential is, what their carbon emission is, and what the city’s future can be. Data analytics brings huge insights to government policymakers, and Google is bringing all the data together for them. More info can be found here.
Data Center Cooling
Google is putting an AI system in charge of its data center cooling systems. Data centers use vast amounts of energy. Cooling is needed to prevent overheating of all systems, like your laptop. Google has started using recommendations by AI to change the cooling process. More recently, Google gave the AI system full responsibility with promising results. Energy used for cooling has gone down by 40%. Find out more about what Google does to maximize the efficiency of its data centers here.
Atos and Google are both CO2 neutral. Since 2018, Google even generates more wind and solar energy than it uses (as only Cloud provider). So if you choose for the Google Cloud Platform to execute analyses, store data and develop apps, we compensate your CO2 emissions by generating renewable energy; decreasing your environmental footprint. Curious to learn more about how we rank v.s. others when it comes to sustainability? Greanpace ranked all tech companies based on their sustainability efforts, in its Click Clean report Google is the only Cloud provider that was awarded the highest A-Rating by Greanpeace.