In this episode of our AI For the Benefit of Society with Microsoft series, we're joined by Lucas Joppa and Zach Parisa.
Lucas is the Chief Environmental Officer at Microsoft, spearheading their 5 year, $50 million AI for Earth commitment, which seeks to apply machine learning and AI across four key environmental areas: agriculture, water, biodiversity, and climate change. Zack is Co-founder and president of SilviaTerra, a Microsoft AI for Earth grantee whose mission is to help people use modern data sources to better manage forest habitats and ecosystems.
In our conversation we discuss the ways that machine learning and AI can be used to advance our understanding of forests and other ecosystems and support conservation efforts. We discuss how SilviaTerra uses computer vision and data from a wide array of sensors like LIDAR, combined with AI, to yield more detailed small-area estimates of the various species in our forests. We also briefly discuss another AI for Earth project, WildMe, a computer vision based wildlife conservation project we discussed with Jason Holmberg back on episode 166.