On World Health Day 2022, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has highlighted the need to keep humanity and the planet healthy as well as to start a movement to create societies focused on well-being. This has come from a world ravaged by a pandemic, accelerated climate change, and the rise of diseases like cancer, asthma, and heart disease.
While there are continuous efforts being done by organisations across the world, many are looking toward Artificial Intelligence. Businesses have already benefited from it, experts believed it could contribute to keeping the world and its inhabitants safe and healthy. Let’s take a look at how Artificial Intelligence can address climate change, deliver food and water security, build sustainable cities, and protect biodiversity and human wellbeing.
Reimagine the world through AI
AI has the potential to accelerate global efforts to conserve and protect the environment. Here are some shining examples of how Artificial Intelligence provides the means to tackle the most pressing environmental challenges that would help ensure a sustainable future for this planet.
Smart agriculture and food systems
Agriculture through Artificial intelligence involves automated data collection, decision-making, and corrective actions via robotics that can assist in the early detection of crop diseases and issues, provide timed nutrition to livestock, and generally optimise agricultural inputs and returns based on supply and demand. Adopting AI in agriculture can increase the resource efficiency of the agriculture industry, lower the use of water, fertilisers, and pesticides which cause damage to important ecosystems, and increase resilience to climate extremes.
Next-gen weather and climate prediction
Using AI to accurately predict the climate impact and the weather has created a new field called “Climate Informatics”. This field traditionally requires high-performance energy-intensive computing, but deep-learning networks can allow computers to run much faster and incorporate more complexity of the ‘real-world’ system into the calculations. Better forecasting leads to better research which in the end, leads to better solutions.
World-building in real life
Simulation games have remained popular since the turn of the century but what if they could be applied to real life? AI, combined with augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) could be used to simulate and automate the generation of zoning laws, building ordinances, and floodplains along with other sustainable city development projects. Adding real-time city-wide data on energy, water consumption, and availability, traffic flows, people flows, and the weather could create an “urban dashboard” to optimise urban sustainability.
Smarter, quicker disaster response
We’ve talked about simulation and real-time data. Artificial Intelligence could also predict disasters. AI can analyse simulations and real-time data (including social media data) of weather events and disasters in a region to seek out vulnerabilities and enhance disaster preparation, provide early warning, and prioritise response through coordination of emergency information capabilities.
Distributed energy grids
Green technology has long been around but by leveraging AI, it can enhance the predictability of demand and supply for renewables across a distributed grid, improve energy storage, efficiency, and load management, assist in the integration and reliability of renewables and enable dynamic pricing and trading as well as creating market incentives.
Elevating healthcare for all
The ongoing pandemic and rise in other diseases have stressed the need to accelerate the healthcare industry. AI in particular, offers an abundance of benefits that improve clinical decision-making and health insights into diagnostics, care processes, treatment variability, and patient outcomes.
Scanning made easy with AI
Artificial intelligence will enable the next generation of radiology tools that are accurate and detailed. New innovative methods like “virtual biopsies” are made possible. Not only that, AI can help advance the innovative field of radiomics, which focuses on harnessing image-based algorithms to characterize the phenotypes and genetic properties of tumors.
Accelerating drug discovery
AI can pinpoint to previously unknown causes of various diseases, and enable testing of more compounds with higher accuracy and reproducibility. Using AI for drug discovery ensures that we can embrace a more patient-driven biology via using more data-derived predictive hypotheses. Analysis which could take months or even years to accomplish can be done within days through artificial intelligence.
AI robot-assisted surgery
Popularity in robot-assisted surgery is skyrocketing. Hospitals are using AI to help with everything from minimally-invasive procedures to open-heart surgery. The introduction of robots helps doctors perform complex procedures with precision, flexibility, and control that go beyond human capabilities.
Contributing to pandemic-readiness
During the pandemic, there were already accelerated developments in the healthcare industry in order to prepare for future pandemics or outbreaks. AxialHealth for instance has been at the forefront of expanding AI in healthcare. AxialHealth V-Series Rapid Test Kit, an innovative test kit that uses AI technology is able to provide comfort and ease of usability, it’s also affordable, provides accurate results in just 15 minutes, and it’s the ability to detect the Omicron virus. Paired with the Vpass Application, a state-of-the-art dashboard, it is especially beneficial for organisations as it can help protect, track and oversee employees’ COVID status with Vpass.
AI for Mental Health
Mental health has long been an ongoing issue in many parts of the world yet in some, it’s seen as taboo. Raising awareness and the need to normalise people having mental health is vital. AI could play an important role. AI and machine learning have the potential to revolutionize the way we diagnose and treat mental health conditions. In the future, algorithms may be our first line of defense against the mental health struggles that can be debilitating for so many people.
Artificial intelligence has still a long way to go to replicate the function of a human therapist, but it can still support them. It can serve as an early warning system providing 24/7 support. It can offer a lifeline for people who live in rural areas where mental health support is hard to find or for those who can’t afford regular visits to a therapist.
Mental health is an enormous challenge in our society, and the Covid-19 pandemic is only increasing the scope of that challenge. AI has the potential to revolutionize mental healthcare, ultimately making care more accessible, more responsive, and more affordable.