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New book_AI in the Wild : Sustainability in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

AI in the Wild explores the value of artificial intelligence for conserving nature, managing ecosystems, and defending wildlife. The book is examining the potential benefits and risks in the sustainability of ecosystems resulting from the introduction of artificial intelligence in  factories,  corporate supply chains, households, cities, and agricultural communities.  

The author researches and analyses the reasons behind the exponential rising of the use of AI, presents the potential benefit in the sustainability of ecosystems in diverse scales and concludes with the potential risks.

The analysis in this book unfolds over three parts. Part I, comprising chapters 2 and 3, explains why the political and economic power of artificial intelligence is rising so quickly. The author analyses the growing importance of data and the role of AI, as well as the economic powers that are affecting the evolution of AI systems.

In part II, chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7 chart the prospects and limits of artificial intelligence for protecting ecosystems and improving environmental management within factories, corporate supply chains, households, cities, and agricultural communities. In this part the author traces some of the ways that AI technologies are helping to conserve and rewind ecosystems, explores the power of artificial intelligence to boost the value of “ecobusiness’ and discusses the value of artificial intelligence for improving the environmental performance of consumer products. Furthermore, he probes the value of artificial intelligence for meeting two of the world’ s greatest sustainability needs: more efficient farming and less  intensive city living. He argues that the most powerful forces of progress are  coming not from top-down, centralized organizations but from a global, bottom-up process  involving a diverse array of nongovernmental organisations, universities, and nonprofit  startups.

The theme of chapters 8, 9, 10, and 11 in part III is the potential danger for global sustainability resulting from the objectives of corporate profits or state power.

In part III the author considers the potential for artificial intelligence to deepen social injustice and  global inequality and to accelerate the extraction of  natural resources and reinforce cultures of consumerism. He investigates how states are using facial recognition cameras and machine learning tools to control citizens and concludes by exploring the potential threats of AI weapons.

Is there a way to harness the power of AI for environmental and social good? Dauvergne argues for precaution and humility as guiding principles in the deployment of AI.

In the last chapter of the book, it is underlined that calls for precaution and safeguards are growing louder. There are appeals for caution in using AI to accelerate industrial mining and oil drilling, demands for transparency in advertising, privacy protections for consumers, and codes of conduct to reduce bias and prejudice in service delivery among others.

About The Author

Peter Dauvergne is Professor of International Relations at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Environmentalism of the Rich and Eco-Business: A Big-Brand Takeover of Sustainability (with Jane Lister).

You can find the book here.