State of Green Business

Using AI to enhance human innovation

How is technology helping societies such as China address environmental challenges produced by rapid economic development and urbanization?

Bringing human and machine intelligence can help make sustainable decisions for economic development in growing urban environments, said Brad Gammon, global managing editor, IBM energy, environment and utility. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is actually not a new idea; it's an extension of combining human innovation and creativity that has "underpinned globalization," he said.  

"The industrial revolution has been driving the industrial-technological revolution," Gammon said.

What is new is technology's capability and the scale of challenges to be solved. In China, IBM's team is working with AI to get deeper insights into the causes of pollution as well as making daily, immediate decisions to lessen congestion, conserve energy and preserve water.

These are all "core ingredients for economic development and urbanization yet their nexus, supply and use must be managed carefully to produce sustainable environmental outcomes," he said.  

Using AI to understand these interactions and associated impacts have been crucial in clearing air in China's cities, ensuring a healthy environment for clean, safe communities.