Digital, anywhere, for everyone and for everyone

Today, digital technology is almost unanimously considered a key lever for economic and social development: “Growth, jobs and services are the most important advantages that investments in digital technology bring. Digital technology enables businesses to be more productive, people to find jobs and expand their opportunities, and governments to provide better services for everyone.

In developed countries where the digital transformation of companies and the public sector is accelerating, this is seen as “the” solution to regain a good level of economic growth: The digital single market could bring in hundreds of billions. dollars to the economies of these countries and thus stimulate job creation, growth, competition, investment and innovation. It can expand markets, offer better services at cheaper prices, change public services and create new jobs. This will promote the creation of new businesses and allow existing businesses to grow and innovate within a market of over 500 million people.

In developing countries, where investment in digital infrastructure appears to be as valuable as that focused on electricity or transportation infrastructure, the capacity for disruption inherent in digital technology offers the opportunity to enter the third revolution immediately. industrial, and thus reduce gaps in developed countries.

Environmental protection, a must

The 21e The Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in 2015 made it possible to give the fight against global warming a universal dimension (Paris Agreement, signed by a large number of countries in the world) and recognize the imperial need for it by adopting measurable objectives, defined on the relatively close horizon. Since then, forecasting models have been refined, a new report from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has been published and the visible consequences of global warming have multiplied.

With each passing day, the problem of climate change is getting worse. Faced with this planetary emergency, there is no question of failing, because the future of the human species and thousands of other species depends on it. The responsibility of the people is greater because they have direct responsibility for the various turmoil affecting the planet. Moreover, they are the only ones who can directly change the course of events.

What if artificial intelligence helped people in their fight against global warming?

Artificial intelligence in the service of reducing CO2 emissions

According to the Capgemini Research Institute report, artificial intelligence could help organizations reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 16% over the next 3-5 years.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the set of theories and techniques used to create machines capable of mimicking human intelligence.

It consists of a constellation of different technologies, which work together to allow machines to see, understand, act and learn at levels of intelligence comparable to humans.

AI is not limited to one technology. Technologies such as machine learning (ML) and automatic natural language processing (NLP) are part of AI. Each of them evolves at its own pace and follows its own path, but when combined with data, analytics or automation, they can help companies, manage to achieve their growth.

Artificial intelligence can help limit the impact people have on their environment in different sectors.

Image recognition to optimize waste sorting

Waste sorting is partially automated, especially thanks to the difference in density of recyclable materials. However, this is not always enough. Some wastes are almost identical in terms of their composition but actually different in terms of their use or their color. This waste therefore requires special treatment to fix it. By using Deep Learning associated with Computer Vision, it is possible to sort and sort waste according to their visual appearance and this in an automated manner at very fast speed. Thus, waste sorting is further optimized as it is accelerated and made more reliable.

In Senegal, to address the problem of waste management, two students, Alioune Badara Mbengue and Papa El Hadji Mandiaye Gningue, came up with the idea to create a smart and connected landfill. Mbal-IT, as the project is named, offers smart, credible and promising solutions to Sustainable Development Goals today.

AI and transportation: fewer kilometers, less fuel, less CO2

The globalization of economies, rising living standards and the development of tourism have contributed since the end of the 20the century to increase the volume of transportation, passengers and goods. This movement will continue between now and 2050 and transportation is the sector where the development of CO emissions2 now the strongest.

The transportation sector, which is responsible for 24% of global CO2 emissions, is also in the crosshairs of AI experts. Road transportation, which alone generates 75% of these emissions, will have to undergo a revolution in the coming years, thanks to technologies such as the autonomous electric vehicle or the smart road.

The experimental smart road projects aim to deploy AI capable of lowering pollution levels during heat waves and improving traffic management. It is also a question of installing smart, energy-efficient lighting, and deploying communication equipment that gives connected vehicles information and other instructions on the speeds to be used, depending on the condition. of weather, traffic, etc.

In addition, without going for an exceptional technology, it is possible to optimize the existing one. If the maps, then GPS allowed us to optimize our movements, we could go further. Especially if we look at public transport and freight transportation. AI now makes it possible, through operational research, to optimize our travels, both for land vehicles and for civil aviation. AI saves many unnecessary kilometers, saves time and money, but also reduces the environmental impact.

In Senegal, a young student named Dzim Momar Lo developed an intelligent system for detecting drowsiness while driving. This system incorporates sensors that allow drivers to have a dashboard where they can optimize their journeys, choose the shortest route to their destination, and where traffic is more fluid.

Reasonable agriculture thanks to AI

New technologies based on artificial intelligence, IoT, big data, robotics and advanced analysis enable the development of precision agriculture. According to McKinsey & Company estimates, the robotic agriculture market is expected to grow from 1 billion (?) In 2014 to between 14 and 18 billion (?) In 2020. Providing farmers with the tools to observe , measure and analyze needs in their operations and allow their employees better management of resources while reducing environmental impact and waste.

The algorithms of machine learning make it possible to monitor and predict the evolution of farms according to predefined parameters, including of course the climate. Some solutions offer innovative tools that combine data collected in real time (weather, seed status, irrigation level, etc.), historical data and information from various sources to assess the status of farms and offer recommendations based on variations. weather, occurrence of disease, market situation, etc. In Senegal, Tolbi is a startup operating in smart agriculture and precision agriculture. It is a technological device that aims to provide quick solutions to the difficulties faced by local farmers. The tool made available to them gives them real-time access to vital information such as water needs on their farm to facilitate irrigation and at the same time improve the quantity and quality of crops.

Based on this analysis, we can say that AI only consumes energy or is harmful to the environment. Without providing a universal solution, it however makes it possible to take small steps towards protecting the environment by dealing with everyday problems, such as waste sorting. What drives back the good part of these technologies.

Artificial intelligence in the service environment”Will be a decisive topic for World Environment Day. An opportunity to sensitize all social strata of Africa in favor of the environment. Let everyone do their individual responsibility to protect their immediate environment. This responsibility constitutes a small decision that improves, not only its physical Environment, but also and is effective throughout Planet Earth.

Ndiaye Dia

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