Microsoft experts discuss the power of AI in achieving a sustainable future

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — “The future is AI.” 

Microsoft, a global leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI), made such bold statement at the recent COP28 world actionists’ forum in Dubai. 

Shelly Blackburn of Microsoft Cross Solutions, in a panel discussion at COP28, said that what makes AI “chaotic” is many people’s different perception of it.

“Well, you can’t talk Microsoft without talking AI. It’s first and foremost, and it does take a significant resource of our resources to run AI…” she said.

Elizabeth Sturcken, Environmental Defense Fund Managing Director, said during the panel discussion that the challenge that AI poses is the broad coverage of its usage that yes, creates threats, but also opens opportunities especially in the area of environmental sustainability.

Blackburn believes that AI will help people lead a more sustainable future. Through their studies and surveys, they found out that many customers are willing to utilize AI-run sustainable products like solar panels. 

AI, she said, can also be used in schools and in recycling, so there would be less effort and time consumed for humans. 

According to her, they already see great examples of AI being used for sustainability and they will continue that journey. She gave for example Microsoft’s partnership with fellow global technology leader Acer.

“The work of Microsoft and Acer has been critical to lower the overall carbon footprint as proven in our data center and as we know, Cloud is an integral part of personal computing, so from e-mail to secure storage, and more recently, AI, we have refocused and re-planned to run our data centers on renewable energy by 2025.”

She promised that Microsoft will continue its mission to deliver safe, secure and “friendly” AI in the future. 

“We can look into more areas where we can improvise using AI,” she noted.

“Will also be working on new ways, and researching more about AI and the energy that it takes.” 

She said they will continue to determine how AI can play the role in helping people live better lives.

“AI is assisting in all the challenges that we’re seeing around the planet. So in order for us to be faster toward achieving a sustainable future, AI will help us really speed that up. It can accelerate in many different ways like helping humans from repetitive tasks or productivity.”


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