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Artificial Intelligence and Climate Change

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to embed itself in our daily lives,
many focus on the threats it poses to privacy, security, due process, and
democracy itself. But beyond these legitimate concerns, AI promises to optimize
activities, increase efficiency, and enhance the accuracy and efficacy of the
many aspects of society relying on predictions and likelihoods. In short, its
most promising applications may come, not from uses affecting civil liberties
and the social fabric of our society, but from those particularly complex
technical problems lying beyond our ready human capacity. Climate change is
one such complex problem, requiring fundamental changes to our
transportation, agricultural, building, and energy sectors. This Article argues
for the enhanced use of AI to address climate change, using the energy sector
to exemplify its potential promise and pitfalls. The Article then analyzes critical
policy tradeoffs that may be associated with an increased use of AI and argues
for its disciplined use in a way that minimizes its limitations while harnessing
its benefits to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.


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