Microsoft Al for Earth
Microsoft’s AI for Earth program puts cloud and AI tools in the hands of those working to solve global environmental challenges, by providing grants to the conservation community, hosting environmental data on the Azure cloud, and developing AI tools that streamline conservation workflows.
Al for Earth grants: ensuring that the sustainability community has access to cloud and Al tools
Through the AI for Earth grants program, Microsoft has supported over 700 organizations in over 100 countries who are leveraging cloud and AI tools to address environmental challenges. Our grants program includes both our Azure compute grants and our RFP partnerships; through our RFPs, we work with partner organizations – including National Geographic, GEO BON, and Global Wildlife Conservation – to provide both Azure compute resources and financial support to conservation practitioners all over the world. All of our grants programs focus not only on providing access to cloud resources, but on providing the education required to help our grantees scale their work to the cloud. Through our twice-a-year AI for Earth summits, for example, we bring our grantees together to learn about Azure, and to learn from each other about how the community is leveraging the cloud to accelerate environmental science.
Al for Earth data: allowing our community to scale their analyses globally
Access to the cloud allows the environmental science community – including our AI for Earth grantees – to ask global-scale questions about Earth systems, but these questions depend on very large Earth observation and climate-related data sets. Consequently, AI for Earth hosts key geospatial data sets on the Azure cloud, and we are building a Planetary Computer to not only facilitate access to that data, but put it to work in a variety of sustainability applications.
Al for Earth ML tools: accelerating conservation workflows
Sustainability scientists and practitioners routinely draw on massive remote sensing data sets, a process that often involves tedious data annotation, which draws scarce resources away from conservation planning. AI offers the potential to break this “annotation logjam”, so in addition to supporting the sustainability AI community through our grants program, AI for Earth develops open-source tools that accelerate conservation workflows, helping conservationists spend more time planning conservation, and less time annotating data. This work has focused largely on geospatial machine learning and on leveraging AI to accelerate wildlife population surveys.
AI for Earth is just one piece of Microsoft’s Environmental Sustainability program, through which Microsoft has committed to being a carbon-negative, water-positive, zero-waste company that protects ecosystems; learn more at http://microsoft.com/sustainability.