Recently, Claudia Rössler, director of Industry Solutions, Strategic Business Development, Chemical and Agriculture, at Microsoft, posted five “big ideas” for a more environmentally conscious world using technology. Her thoughts on how AI can improve the management of natural resources and how blockchain can help usher in an era of sustainable food production show how major IT companies and cutting-edge tech can have a positive impact.
On AI in food equality, agriculture and biodiversity, she writes:
Since our launch of AI for Earth six months ago, Microsoft has awarded over 35 grants in more than 10 countries for access to Microsoft Azure and AI technology… As these projects and our work in this area matures, we will identify the projects that show the most promise and make larger investments to help bring them to scale. Finally, as these projects advance, we’ll identify and pursue opportunities to incorporate new AI advances into platform-level services so that others can use them for their own sustainability initiatives.
On blockchain in agriculture:
Advanced technologies around automation, IIoT, digital twin, predictive analytics, machine learning, dashboards and chat bots, and blockchain are also critical enablers to food quality and sustainability, as well as keys to reducing waste. Today, Microsoft uses Azure to maintain and manage 5,000 growing sites for lettuce for our Puget Sound campus. That adds up to about 15,000 pounds of lettuce and other organic greens a year, using 90 percent less water than would be used on a farm.
She also offers concrete examples of how her company is partnering with companies to helping famers reduce electricity costs and use less water with its Azure IoT services and using cloud services, big data, the IoT, predictive analytics and machine learning to better track of water and energy usage. It’s worth the read.
Image credit: Microsoft