Facebook plans to use AI to help fight climate change

Fb has researchers who’re attempting to advance synthetic intelligence by means of varied initiatives.

Angela Lang/PJDM

Facebook stated Wednesday it’s going to use synthetic intelligence to assist scientists discover new methods to retailer and use renewable vitality as a part of undertaking that might assist fight climate change

The social community is partnering with Carnegie Mellon College to spur the usage of photo voltaic and wind vitality, that are cleaner than burning fossil fuels that contribute to air air pollution and international warming. Local weather change continues to be an enormous concern this yr within the wake of warmth waves and forest fires on the West Coast.

One of many challenges to utilizing renewable vitality is that it must be saved, generally for weeks or months, as a result of the wind does not at all times blow and the solar does not shine on a regular basis. Batteries can be utilized to retailer extra renewable vitality, however Fb stated that utilizing that methodology is dear particularly if corporations want to make use of a big energy grid. 

The social community’s new effort, often known as the Open Catalyst Challenge, will concentrate on one other answer that entails changing extra photo voltaic and wind vitality into different fuels reminiscent of hydrogen or ethanol. The undertaking’s objective is to seek out low-cost catalysts to hurry up these chemical reactions, permitting renewable vitality to be saved for a less expensive value. Discovering new catalysts may be powerful as a result of there are various completely different potential mixtures of parts. Fb says AI will assist predict atomic interactions quicker than simulations utilized in labs. With the assistance of AI, the method might take seconds quite than days.

If the undertaking works, the analysis might gasoline the usage of renewable vitality as a result of it will value much less to retailer the vitality for future use. The demand for renewable vitality is rising. In most nations, producing electrical energy by utilizing the solar’s vitality is persistently cheaper than burning coal or fuel in energy vegetation, in line with the International Renewable Energy Agency.

“As vitality wants proceed to climb and the battle in opposition to local weather change grows extra pressing, this downside affords an opportunity to advance AI in a method that can have a big real-world impression,” Fb’s Analysis Scientist Larry Zitnick stated in a weblog publish. 

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Queenie Wong