Artificial Intelligence and Waste Management

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January 23, 2023

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Zero Waste Association

Artificial Intelligence and Waste Management

In today’s world, artificial intelligence (AI) enables humans to make more informed decisions because it can process more information at one time than humans can.

As climate change, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility become increasingly important, businesses and communications professionals should keep an eye out for ways to incorporate emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence.

There are some problems AI is solving today that sound like they come straight out of a science fiction movie. Artificial intelligence is helping humanity overcome challenges such as waste recognition, space junk, and sustainability.

The Future of Waste Management

In futuristic films, the Earth is often portrayed as covered in garbage. People live in slums surrounded by trash with no place to dispose of it. Thankfully, with the help of ai and smart waste solutions that dystopian predicament doesn’t have to be humanity’s future. Automation and transparency in recycling can be achieved using AI-driven computer vision software

Companies are finding new ways to create a circular economy as consumers become more concerned about sustainability and government regulations increase. The circular economy is a way to design an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design, which eliminates waste and ensures that products have a continued life after their primary use. There is over 2 billion tons of solid waste generated every year, and most of it ends up in landfills, a factor that explains why economic growth in the waste and recycling industry is so low.

By highlighting inefficiencies in sorting and waste facilities, artificial intelligence helps companies work in a circular economy. A conveyer belt can be spotted faster and more accurately with artificial intelligence vision. Provides data about waste composition and analytics for facilities to increase recycling rates through an automated system that identifies different types of waste. Real-time insight and analysis are provided by AI, which is easy to scale. Using artificial intelligence, it is possible to monitor and analyze 100% of waste. In addition, smart bins and sorting robots are opportunities to partner with.

What about space waste?

The Earth is often depicted as a non-inhabitable planet in other scifi movies. Robots are left to clean up the mess after they blast into orbit. However, what if we are prevented from leaving Earth’s orbit due to too much debris? Many scientists are concerned about space junk. Earth is home to 129 million pieces of debris, according to the European Space Agency. As astronauts navigate orbit, as well as communication satellites and future space missions, space debris poses a danger.

Space’s biggest problem is being tackled by AI and technology companies. Using machine learning, NASA created the Deep Asteroid Challenge to help humans avoid a fate similar to that of the dinosaurs.

For this challenge, we invite you to become “virtual contributors” to the Asteroid Grand Challenge and develop a hypothetical method, concept note or simple prototype that demonstrates how Machine Learning could be used to help us avoid the same fate as the dinosaurs.

Food production and excess waste

There is more to artificial intelligence than just good deeds. Companies that use it can expect a large return on investment. It is estimated that artificial intelligence could generate up to $127 billion in the food industry by 2030. Food waste impacts consumers before it even gets to their refrigerators. From farm to refrigerator, about 2 billion tons of food are lost or wasted each year.

Identifying and weighing food waste in commercial kitchens with artificial intelligence. Whenever a scrapped plate is thrown into the smart waste bin, it automatically assigns a dollar value to it. The system can correctly identifies waste foods and it improves as it learns. This is about more accurate than kitchen staff doing it (who are usually busy).

Taking action on insights is up to individuals and organizations

Artificial intelligence analyzes, predicts, and recommends actions. We must change our production methods to make the most of our production system, but it is up to the people to make the final call. It is possible to rethink the purpose of an industry. Technological advances, such as artificial intelligence, can lead to sustainable solutions that are not only able to increase ROI for brands, but also help those brands find their purpose and show their goodwill.

Despite all the buzz and hype around AI. By itself, it won’t be able to save us. Substantial financial and human resources are required to do anything. In spite of the fact that AI could help the environment, it is almost a guarantee that companies are working on a way to use it to hurt the environment and drive up profits.

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