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Green Technology

Green Technology

Artificial Intelligence and Its Environmental Costs

July 22, 2019
artificial intelligence environment

Artificial intelligence is an adaptable technology capable of many different functions. It seems like an inherently helpful tool, whether we’re looking at its role in decision-making, research or planning. At worst, AI takes the form of an evil robot intent on destruction, bad for humans but great for ticket sales.

The movies make it seem like AI is only threatening when it has a mind of its own, but this technology has negative consequences that aren’t as obvious. The relationship between artificial intelligence and the environment is an example of how these systems have their share of risks beyond their benefits.

That’s not to say that artificial intelligence doesn’t have value for environmental organizations. It has a variety of advantages for conservation efforts, such as aiding in the assessment of animal populations and identifying trafficked wildlife. AI also enables companies to reduce their energy consumption.

In short, artificial intelligence is a useful technology that has made the world a better place to live. However, these same systems that have improved the planet have also damaged it. AI represents an incredible step forward, but that progress has come at a cost that is just as crucial to acknowledge.

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Green Technology

Humanitarian Engineering Bringing Renewable Energy to Disaster-Hit Communities

July 18, 2019

Public attention may fade, but the effects of a natural disaster can linger long after camera crews have left. The lasting consequences of Hurricane Maria on the island of Puerto Rico serve as a fitting example of this phenomenon. After the hurricane severely compromised their power grid, the island’s infrastructure fell apart, and entire towns went without electricity for almost a year.

In the wake of the destruction, families had to depend on backup generators, navigating a dangerous landscape of leaning power poles, fallen trees and other debris. Fortunately, humanitarian engineering has helped manage the energy needs of affected areas in the aftermath of many natural disasters.

The executive director and co-founder of Empowered by Light, Moira Hanes, sees renewable energy as the solution. Her nonprofit partnered with the Las Vegas Fire Department to install solar hubs at firehouses across Puerto Rico. The solar and construction companies Sunrun and Aireko also participated.

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Green Technology

Women in Engineering Continuing to Gain Renown in the Field

May 27, 2019
women in engineering

Women aren’t a new occurrence in engineering, but until recently the field has been primarily dominated by men. In today’s world, even in the states that have the highest number of female graduates with engineering degrees, women still only make up, at most, 22% of graduates and 14% of working engineers.

That hasn’t stopped these amazing women from making some astonishing discoveries, though. Let’s take a closer look at the advances that women are making in engineering and how schools are trying to get more girls interested in the field.

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Green Technology

How Green Buildings Will Change Our Architectural Landscape

May 13, 2019
green buildings

Decades ago, you didn’t hear much talk about global warming or saving the planet. It was all about building bigger and better. Studies now show construction — everything from sourcing materials to putting them together — is responsible for 23 percent of air pollution, 40 percent of water pollution and 50 percent of landfill waste.

Now, people are more aware of the Earth’s dwindling resources and are taking steps to implement green initiatives.

This growing awareness — along with sustainability becoming more profitable and desirable in the construction market — has led to a demand for more building options. In fact, experts say green building is the fastest growing industry worldwide.

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Green Technology

What Green Healthcare Means for Medical Manufacturing

April 29, 2019
green healthcare

The term, “green healthcare,” refers to the incorporation of eco-conscious practices in healthcare delivery. Industry professionals have seen the value in these improvements, as they reduce their ecological footprint, save money and help educate members of the public on environmental stewardship.

As an example of the updates, the use of biodegradable cutlery in hospital cafeterias results in less waste. Safe cleaning agents, fewer pesticides and sustainable renovations are all a part of the green healthcare movement. In short, it’s an effort to enhance the well-being of patients while restoring the environment.

Beyond the benefits of the transition, it’ll have a transformative effect on many areas of the industry. Medical manufacturing will need to change, given the massive volume of waste from the disposal of medical supplies. Though it’s an issue of patient safety, it represents a significant problem for sustainability.

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Green Technology

How 5G Could Expand Big Data Applications

April 15, 2019
big data applications

You may have heard about how 5G and big data are going to revolutionize our world. 5G technologies have the potential to enable many new big data applications that will substantially alter the way we live our lives. But what exactly are these technologies, and how will they affect us?

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Green Technology

What Impact Would a Fourth Industrial Revolution Have on the Planet?

March 18, 2019
fourth industrial revolution

The first industrial revolution started in the 18th century, and most people know it as an era that spurred the development of the steam engine and contributed to more urbanization. Several other industrial revolutions followed, and a common thread among them was that each period had tremendous technological advances. We’re now in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). How might it affect the Earth?

Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, argues that it’s fundamentally different from previous revolutions. The earlier ones helped humans break free from their dependence on animals and gave them access to the digital world, plus furthered mass production. However, this era blends the physical, digital and biological worlds through a range of technologies.

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Green Technology

How Big Data Could Benefit Sustainability

February 28, 2019
big data sustainability

Big data provides a promising solution to many of today’s most pressing problems. Interconnectivity and predictive analysis enable researchers and scientists to address issues that were previously beyond their grasp. As computational strength continues to increase, our capacity for problem-solving increases, as well.

At the current rate of progress, IBM estimates we’ll have access to 300 times more information in 2020 than we had in 2005. While many businesses use this info to inform marketing strategies and drive profit, it has applications elsewhere. Big data shows incredible promise in the fulfillment of sustainability goals.

In this article, we’ll detail the data-driven strategies that business owners and environmental organizations have used to improve sustainability. We’ll touch on the benefits of big data for both the preservation of the planet and a company’s bottom line, showing its potential as a catalyst for positive change.

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