Environmental AI and machine learning

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Kick-off meeting of the ELLIS Unit Jena. Image: Anna Schroll
Kick-off meeting of the ELLIS Unit Jena. Image: Anna Schroll

The Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry and the German Aerospace Center have jointly established the ELLIS Unit Jena - an AI research hub to tackle global environmental challenges. The ELLIS Unit Jena is one of the newest members of the "European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems" (ELLIS) Network. The network is at the forefront of using artificial intelligence (AI) to tackle global environmental crises, like climate change and biodiversity loss. By using AI and machine learning, ELLIS researchers gain a deeper understanding of the interdependencies of Earth and climate. They are able to simulate scenarios for mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change.

On January 12th 2023, the ELLIS Unit Jena hosted their kick-off at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. This event brought more than 140 leading experts together in the field of AI and machine learning for Earth and climate sciences.

"AI is one of today’s most disruptive technologies. The potential for helping with the climate and biodiversity crises seems infinite, e.g. for early warning systems, sustainable resource use or detection of climate extreme and their impacts," says Professor Markus Reichstein Director from the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena and Co-director of the ELLIS Unit Jena. "I am glad to see that the ELLIS Unit Jena already is on the map of Europe’s most excellent research units for environmental AI. With the support of the Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung, the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, and the EU commission, this will only grow in the future." Joachim Denzler, Professor at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and Co-director of the ELLIS Unit Jena, adds: "Our impact even goes beyond Earth sciences: For instance, the machine learning methods we develop in this context are already applied to data from medicine and psychology."

Public webinar on Artificial Intelligence and Earth Sciences

The next highlight on the ELLIS Unit Jena event schedule will the AI for Good Lecture series. Renown scholars from all over the world will give insights on recent findings at the crossroads of AI and Earth sciences. The first ELLIS Unit Jena co-led webinar will be held on February 1st, at 5 pm CET on the United Nation’s platform AI for Good at the International Telecommunications Union. Moderated by Professor Reichstein, Ricardo Vinuesa (KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm/Sweden) will explain the role AI plays in achieving the UN Sustainable development goals.

The lecture series is for free and open to the public, for more see https://aiforgood.itu.int/eventcat/discovery-ai-for-earth-and-sustainability-science/