Cambridge-authored book explores how artificial intelligence could help address climate change

Humanity is facing two existential threats. The first: uncontrolled CO2 emissions irreversibly changing the climate. The second: a hostile artificial intelligence (AI) becoming the dominant form of intelligence on Earth. But while the situation may appear bleak, this two-pronged crisis also presents an opportunity.

  Factories with smoke under cloudy sky  Credit: Patrick Hendry via Unsplash

Intelligent Decarbonisation – a new book bringing together experts from the fields of science, law, finance, industry, and government – shows that a combination of digital technologies with AI can help curb humanity’s CO2 emissions. This is the key to mitigating climate change and the existential threat it poses. By acknowledging such digital technologies and AI could also pose existential threats to humanity, the book also shows how to maximise their economic and environmental use, while minimising the risks they introduce.

The book is edited and co-authored by Professor Markus Kraft and Dr Oliver Inderwildi, from the University of Cambridge Centre for Advanced Research and Education in Singapore (Cambridge CARES).

Intelligent Decarbonisation aims to get to the bottom of two critically important fields, using an innovative approach with original research, expert comments from academia, industry and think tanks,” said Inderwildi.

The core idea of the book is to assess how AI and cyber-physical systems (CPS) – digital technologies where the physical and software components are deeply intertwined – can help humankind to overcome its most complex and most pressing challenge: climate change.

“The transformational potential of cyber-physical systems, especially when combined with artificial intelligence, is difficult to predict,” said Kraft. “Cambridge CARES is dedicated to developing technology that directs economic development onto a sustainable pathway. Our latest book critically assesses the associated threats and opportunities.”

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Image: Factories with smoke under cloudy sky

Credit: Patrick Hendry via Unsplash

Reproduced courtesy of the University of Cambridge

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