Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul plants a sapling at Nust School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science on Wednesday. — APP
Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul plants a sapling at Nust School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science on Wednesday. — APP

ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Climate Change Zartaj Gul said on Wednesday that artificial intelligence (AI) has enhanced weather warning capabilities, leading to the identification of cyclones and other patterns ahead of human intervention.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of an international conference on the role of AI in environment monitoring organised by the National University of Science and Technology’s (NUST) School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (SEECS), Ms Gul said AI has helped researchers achieve 89 to 99pc accuracy in identifying tropical cyclones, weather fronts and atmospheric rivers.

She said that by improving weather forecasts, these types of programmes can help keep people safe. She also emphasised that advances in AI could be one of the solutions to major global environmental crises, from climate change to animal endangerment and disease containment.

Speaking earlier, Nust Rector retired Lt Gen Naweed Zaman said AI and machine learning are being use to automate environmental inspections through AI analysis of images obtained by satellite and drone.

He said AI technologically has great potential and can extend the reach and efficiency of environmental inspections and significantly enhance regulatory effectiveness.

Other speakers also highlighted the importance of AI, stating that environmental issues have triggered debate, discussion, awareness programmes and public outrage that have catapulted interest in new technologies such as AI.

AI finds application in a wide array of environmental sectors, including resource conservation, wildlife protection, energy management, clean energy, waste management, pollution control and agriculture.

A Nust official said the conference also discussed that the UN Artificial Intelligence Summit held in Geneva in 2017 identified that AI has the potential to accelerate progress towards a dignified life, in peace and prosperity, for all people and have suggested refocusing the use of this technology on sustainable development and assisting global efforts to eliminating poverty and hunger and to protect the environmental and conserve natural resources.

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2019

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