Will We Make Our Numbers? The year 2020 has a majority of the planet asking the simple question: “How do we stay alive? Competition is not working for the long-term sustainability of human and environmental well-being.
Capitalizing on AI’s Potential to Help Tackle the Climate Crisis
By Sana Khareghani on August 29th, 2020 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Environment, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
As we work to decouple carbon emissions and economic growth on the path to net zero emissions — so-called “clean growth” — we must also meaningfully deliver sustainable, inclusive growth with emerging technologies.
Estimating Carbon Emissions of Artificial Intelligence
By Alexandra Luccioni on August 11th, 2020 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Environment, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
While many of us hear about the latest and greatest breakthrough in AI technology, what we hear less about is its environmental impact. In fact, much of AI’s recent progress has required ever-increasing amounts of data and computing power. We believe that tracking and communicating the environmental impact of ML should be a key part of the research and development process.
Leveraging Digital Disruptions for a Climate-Safe and Equitable World: The Dˆ2S Agenda
By Amy Luers on July 13th, 2020 in Commentary, Environment, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
In 2019, millions of young people took to the streets demanding “systems change not climate change.” Their call echoes the words of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report, which stated that “Limiting global warming to 1.5 °C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”
Sustainability in the Digital Age
By Amy Luers on July 6th, 2020 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Environment, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Disruptions can have positive as well as negative impacts on natural and human systems. Among the most fundamental disruptions to global society over the last century is the rise of big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and other digital technologies. These digital technologies have created new opportunities to understand and manage global systemic risks.
Apologies for the Inconvenience (But Please Use It Wisely)
By Jeremy Pitt on June 25th, 2020 in Editorial & Opinion, Environment, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Some collective behavior that supports sustainability entails some individual inconvenience: many small acts of environmental kindness require some thought, effort, or consideration.
The Montreal Statement on Sustainability in the Digital Age
By CIFAR Workshop on June 25th, 2020 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Commentary, Environment, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Two major forces are shaping the future of human civilization: anthropogenic climate change and the digital revolution. The changing climate is driving systemic shifts that threaten to destabilize the health and wellbeing of humankind and the natural systems on which they depend.
By A. David Wunsch on November 29th, 2019 in Book Reviews, Environment, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Mann and Toles crystallize for us climate change denialism, principally in the United States, over the last generation. The core of this denial results from the confluence of several trends deeply embedded in the American culture.
Science Communication, Digital Media, and the Human Voice
By cia romano on August 17th, 2019 in Blog Posts, Communication Technology, Environment, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Does access to science communication inevitably lead to greater public understanding of science, its discoveries, and their impact? Does access to online data sets inevitably lead to full comprehension of available information by scientists?
Transparent Ownership of Mobility-as-a-Service
By Jeremy Pitt on July 20th, 2019 in Editorial & Opinion, Environment, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Why would anyone own, or even need to own, a driverless car, if they do not get to drive it? Which in turn begs the question, if the central tenet of the personal car ownership model (i.e., ownership) no longer holds, then what is the replacement business model?
IEEE and Sustainable Development
By Paul Cunningham on October 26th, 2018 in Environment, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, President's Message, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
This month I will briefly discuss the work of the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee, which I have the honor to chair this year.
Mundane Is the New Radical
By Rebekah Shirley and Daniel Kammen on August 3rd, 2018 in Editorial & Opinion, Environment, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
The increasing number of dam projects deployed in developing countries over the last two decades that perform poorly illustrate a disconnect between planners, stakeholders, and technological energy solutions of choice.
Where’s the Beef?
By Jim Isaak on January 13th, 2018 in Articles, Environment, Societal Impact
The ability to grow animal muscle from a few cells into meat for the kitchen is a significant technological advance. The book Clean Meat proposes that beef and other meat be lab-grown.
Appointment of the Planet’s Policy Custodian
By Joe Carvalko on January 6th, 2018 in Editorial & Opinion, Environment, Ethics, Magazine Articles, Societal Impact
The Trump administration cannot simply reject current theories of climate change based on nothing more than that it may conflict with a constituency’s self-interest or one’s sheer lack of understanding.
The Unstoppable Changing of the Electricity Guard
By Antonio Gomez-Exposito on December 20th, 2017 in Commentary, Environment, Magazine Articles, Societal Impact
Twenty-five years ago we didn’t know that solar energy, including modular photovoltaic (PV) plants ranging in size from 1 kW to hundreds of megawatts, along with increasingly larger, electronically-aided wind generators (up to 8-MW offshore units), would become in just 25 years the cornerstones of a revolution in power production that is drastically changing the face and fate of power systems.
Engineers and Social Acceptance of Renewable Energy
By Nicholas Sakellariou on December 16th, 2017 in Editorial & Opinion, Environment, Magazine Articles, Societal Impact
Unmet local concerns related to renewable energy projects can result in costly project delays or cancellation. Strong political and financial incentives encourage state authorities and renewable energy developers to address issues of social acceptance.
Volcanoes can be a Blast
By Jim Isaak on December 1st, 2017 in Articles, Environment, Social Implications of Technology
It can be easy to explore the dark side of technology while not highlighting the benefits. But over the past… Read More
By Jim Isaak on October 28th, 2017 in Articles, Environment
Recent research indicates that pollution (air, water, …) is a major killer on a global basis. That pollution kills is… Read More
Assessing Factory-Grown Cultured Meat
By ieeessit on June 29th, 2017 in Environment, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles
Figure 1. Designers Erik Addison, Luke Morey, and Grant Parrinello (not affiliated with this research) developed a marketing campaign for a… Read More
By Jim Isaak on February 21st, 2017 in Articles, Environment
A recent anthology of “climate fiction,” Loosed Upon the World, projects climate change forward some years into dystopian scenarios. The editor,… Read More