How can sustainable AI development advance? Google promises to use tech to tackle climate issues

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Global leaders, including Google’s representatives, are going to the COP28 summit in Dubai to discuss sustainable AI development. 

The tech giant, which had just reportedly delayed the release of its hotly-anticipated Gemini AI model, said in a joint report with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) that AI could potentially mitigate 5-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. 

How? One of the examples is that Google Maps now has a feature that helps drivers save fuel and protect the environment. This feature uses AI to suggest routes that are less polluting, and it has already helped prevent over 2.4 million metric tons of CO2e emissions, which is like taking half a million cars off the road for a year.

And it’s just getting better, especially after the October 2023 update. The popular map app has added a new feature called Immersive View to more cities on Android and iOS devices. This feature uses AI to combine billions of pictures to create a 3D model of the world.

Besides, Google also uses the tech to predict climate-related events, like its Flood Hub forecasting initiative which over 460 million people in over 80 countries have benefitted from. 

“Creating a sustainable future requires collective action from policymakers, government officials, city planners, business leaders, and individuals. Policymakers, in particular, have a central role to play both in harnessing the potential of AI for climate action and in ensuring its sustainable and equitable use,” Google demands.