Microsoft on Tuesday announced grants to seven recipients from India under their AI for Earth programme. This is their worldwide programme which aims at empowering people and organisations to solve global environmental challenges through the power of artificial intelligence.
According to an official statement sent out by Microsoft, these seven grantees will receive access to Microsoft Azure and AI computing resources, in-depth education and technology training on these tools, and additional support as the projects grow and mature. The programme also aims to accelerate innovation and build sustainable game-changing solutions with AI technologies and cloud computing.
India now has the third-largest concentration of AI for Earth grantees, following the US and Canada.
The AI for Earth programme has chosen the following seven Indian institutes:
- India Institute of Technology (for agriculture)
- International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad (for agriculture)
- Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE), Bengaluru (for biodiversity)
- Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi (for biodiversity)
- Symbiosis Institute of Technology (Smart Meter Data Analytics), Pune (for climate change)
- India Institute of Science, Bangalore (for water)
- Symbiosis Institute of Technology, Pune (for water)
Commenting on the program, Lucas Joppa, chief environmental officer at Microsoft Corporation and Lead for Microsoft AI for Earth, said, “In every country around the world, we are facing unprecedented environmental challenges, impacting the ability to access water, grow healthy crops and protect biodiversity. At Microsoft, we’ve found that one thing was accelerating as quickly as the degradation of our planet’s natural resources, and that is technology. Through AI for Earth, we’re making sure that innovative environmental researchers, like the seven here in India, are empowered with Microsoft’s AI in the pursuit of creating a more sustainable future for us all.”
In just one year, AI for Earth has grown from 20 grantees to 147 from across more than 40 countries, with $1.1 million of Azure credits awarded to date.
AI for Earth is a $50 million, five-year commitment from Microsoft to put AI at work for the future of the planet. Launched in July 2017, its focus areas are climate change, agriculture, biodiversity and water.