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Mexico Lightning Talks Series powered by Huawei

From July 26 to August 5, 2021, the Mexico Lightning Talks Series powered by Huawei took place.

ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) have the potential to achieve a reduction of up to 20% of CO2 emissions by 2030, according to GeSI. One of the United Nations' climate action goals is to limit the global warming effects by reducing CO2 emissions by 45% before 2030, which would make it possible to reach zero by 2050. In this context, disruptive technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems, become fundamental tools to address climate change and begin to take action, along with technological support, towards the restoration of the world we want to live in.


From July 26 to August 5, 2021, the Mexico Lightning Talks Series powered by Huawei took place. This Series was held within the framework of the AI for Climate initiative and its component of being a global learning platform. The Series had the objective of presenting ideas and initiatives that use frontier technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence systems, for the conservation and restoration of the environment and biodiversity, climate action, and the connection with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, among other topics focused especially in Mexico and Latin America.


This objective was achieved in collaboration with 8 invited experts from different organizations, including the private sector, academia, and NGOs.


In the following paragraphs, we share with you some knowledge pills from the talks, which you can review in their entirety here.


Protecting biodiversity with AI - Big Cats preservation

To start the Series, Joaquín Saldaña, director of strategy and marketing at Huawei LATAM, spoke about the project: Conservation of big cats in Asia, through the use of AI systems, Big Data, and IoT (Internet of Things). Saldaña emphasized the importance of this type of project, although at first, they may sound very technical, in reality, they need multiple actors in collaboration, from scientists to conservationists, suppliers, technology operators, and anyone interested in actions that change the world. He also pointed out that Latin America is not far from these innovative initiatives, Check out the LT below.

Exploring the intersection of environmental justice and unintended consequences of AI

Bogdana Rakova, Data Scientist at Accenture, was the next speaker. Rakova has explored the intersection between environmental justice and the unintended consequences of AI systems, especially aimed at assessing the impact of AI in a socio-ecological context. She shared that this perspective takes into account that the use of AI systems for climate is rooted in a context, primarily the territory over which this technology is designed, developed, and deployed. In this way, it is possible to think about the socioecological impact of AI systems. Do not miss the cases and conclusions to promote an environmental justice perspective that she shared in her LT.


AI for Sustainable Development Goals

The president of the Mexican Society of Artificial Intelligence (SMIA), Félix Castro, delved into the potential of AI systems to advance the goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). He explored the cases and benefits of using AI for the goals of health and wellness, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, climate action, underwater life, and terrestrial ecosystem life. Want to learn about projects that already exist? Check out his LT.



Protecting Forests and Endagered Species with AI: PAWS

To end the first week of the Series, Lily Xu, a Ph.D. student at Harvard —who has collaborated with Microsoft AI for Earth and SMART to conserve forests and jungles by predicting poaching and illegal logging, activities that threaten species and biodiversity— recounted some of the challenges Xu and her team have faced in implementing AI systems and how much this project has been able to expand around the world. Don't miss her interesting LT and, in addition, learn about a case that is already happening in Yucatán, México.



Technology to protect our oceans

For the second week of the series, Hem Nalini Morzaria-Luna, marine ecologist and researcher at the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans (CEDO) Intercultural and Long Live the Kings, shared a talk framed by the Decade of the Oceans (2021-2030) proclaimed by the UN. Morzaria-Luna presented how AI systems are already an important tool for ocean conservation. Among the shared examples, she showed some time transfers to know what may happen to marine species in the future under the effects of climate change, specifically ocean warming. Be sure to check out this amazing LT!



Use of geospatial technologies for naturally originated disasters resilience

Next, Nahuel Arenas, Deputy Head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean, presented the efforts made by his organization to take advantage of geospatial technologies and machine learning in order to increase resilience to natural disasters in the region. Learn more about this effort in his LT.



Predicting global warming effects with AI Systems

In the seventh talk, Federico Bayle, Co-Founder, and CEO of Dymaxion Labs shared tools on how to assess the impact of events related to global warming, such as forest fires, through collaborative practices. Bayle also delved into how to generate preemptive warnings for future events, with the use of AI-based systems supported by open data. Fortunately, you can still check out this interesting LT.



Investing in Climate Tech

To close the Series, during the last Lightning Talk, Eliana Molina, Associate Director of South Pole, explained the importance of investing in climate solutions that contemplate Climate Tech. Along with a couple of very interesting success stories with great potential in the Latin American region, Molina pointed out that emerging technological tools will be fundamental to boost the goal of reducing emissions by 2050. Visit this LT to learn more about the carbon credit model, venture capital, and investment opportunities.




Did you find what we told you here interesting? It was just a brief glimpse of the AI for Climate Knowledge Community. Pre-register to the Global AI for Climate Forum here or subscribe to our newsletter.



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