Microsoft launches AI for Earth program to solve global environmental challenges



At an AI event in London, Microsoft today announced a new program called AI for Earth which will use the power of AI to solve global environmental challenges. AI for Earth will offer non-governmental organisations and other groups access to AI tools and services and technical support to enable them to more efficiently and effectively tackle issues related to water, agriculture, climate change and biodiversity. Microsoft will invest more than $2 million into this program in the next year. Azure for Research AI for Earth award program will offer cloud and AI computing resources to researchers and organizations to solve environmental problems.

AI for Earth program is based on the following three pillars:

  • Access: We will improve access by making a new pool of grants available to help researchers and organizations gain access to cloud and AI computing resources. This includes access to Azure compute time and our data science virtual machine offerings on Azure. These grant applications are available today.
  • Education: We will provide new training and educational opportunities to make sure people and organizations know what AI tools are available, how to use these tools and how the tools can help meet their specific needs. Our approach will be both broad and deep, reaching many people through general session trainings as well as small group faculty summits on single issue areas and training for grantees.
  • Innovation: We also want to encourage others to innovate based on the power and potential of AI. We will partner with others on lighthouse projects that demonstrate how AI can deliver results more rapidly, accurately and efficiently. Already, we have three projects underway – one enabling land cover mapping to aid precision conservation; another that will enable smart agriculture through sensors, drones, data and broadband connectivity; and another that will test the viability of using our smart mosquito traps to remotely track and monitor species health.

Learn more about this program here.

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