Our panel of experts came together to discuss the incredible opportunities provided by digital technologies in mitigating climate change and helping us to achieve net zero.
From the handheld device that fits in your pocket to the large-scale digital infrastructure that keeps our shelves stocked and cars driving, digital technologies underpin almost everything we do in modern society. And with that power, comes great potential to use these to tackle one of the biggest issues facing our world today, climate change.
Machine learning, for example, can facilitate cleaner and greener journeys by analysing traffic data to lower congestion and reduce emissions in real time. Combining digital sensors with wireless networks and computer analysis can help farmers shift to smarter ways of farming where food production is optimised and waste minimised. And these are just two examples from a list of near endless applications – what other ways can digital technologies support us in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss?
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This event was hosted by broadcaster and CEO of TeenTech, Maggie Philbin.
Professor Corinne Le Quéré FRS CBE is Royal Society Research Professor of Climate Change Science at the University of East Anglia, where she conducts research on climate change and the carbon cycle, including the drivers of CO2 emissions. She is author of IPCC’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th Assessment reports and former Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. She instigated and led for over a decade the annual update of the global carbon budget within the Global Carbon Project. She Chairs France’s Haut conseil pour le climat and is a member of the UK Committee on Climate Change.
Dr Shakir Mohamed is a South African research scientist and lead at DeepMind, researching statistical machine learning and artificial intelligence. He works on advancing machine learning principles, applied questions in healthcare and climate, and sociotechnical systems, diversity and transformation. Shakir is also a founder and trustee of the Deep Learning Indaba, a grassroots organisation aiming to build pan-African capacity and ownership in AI. Shakir is the General Chair for the 2021 International conference on Learning Representations, an associate fellow of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge, and a member of the Royal Society's Diversity Committee. You can follow him on twitter @shakir_za and online at shakirm.com.
Victor Ohuruogu is currently Senior Africa Regional Manager for the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD), based at the UN Foundation. He leads and manages political and technical engagements, activities and products of the GPSDD in Africa. He provides guidance on how the GPSDD brings partners together to strengthen data ecosystems, and how various data sources can be accessed and used to achieve the SDGs and sustainable development more broadly.
Dr Emily Shuckburgh is a mathematician and climate scientist and Director of Cambridge Zero at the University of Cambridge and Reader in Environmental Data Science at the Department of Computer Science and Technology. Dr Shuckburgh leads the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training on the Application of AI to the study of Environmental Risks (AI4ER). She is a Fellow of the British Antarctic Survey and Royal Meteorological Society and co-chair of their Climate Science Communications Group. She has also acted as an advisor to the UK Government on behalf of the Natural Environment Research Council. In 2016 she was awarded an OBE for services to science and the public communication of science. She is co-author with HRH The Prince of Wales and Tony Juniper of the Ladybird Book on Climate Change.
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