AI in the Wild: Sustainability in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

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Looking around at the ingenious ways that artificial intelligence is fighting climate change, biodiversity loss, and global pollution, it might seem as if we are on the cusp of a sustainability revolution. Great care is necessary, however, to avoid hyping artificial intelligence as the earth’s savior. Guest speaker Peter Dauvergne, a professor of international relations at the University of British Columbia, argues that although AI is generating some environmental gains, powerful corporations and states are exaggerating the benefits, ignoring the risks, and deploying AI in ways antithetical to sustainability. Moreover, the competition to profit from artificial intelligence has the potential to entrench technocratic management, rev up resource extraction, and turbocharge consumerism. It has the potential to generate new forces of inequality and injustice. And it has the potential to empower big business and militarized states within international relations, posing grave threats to the global environmental movement.

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