The world is facing an urgent climate crisis that puts human health and lives, eco-systems and economies at risk, potentially reversing years of development efforts. How much the climate impacts will intensify depends directly on mitigation actions taken today to reduce future risks by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation actions to minimize the consequences of climate change we face today and to prepare for future impacts. Meaningful actions taken by states and leadership are critical. Artificial Intelligence has the potential to reduce emissions and improve global resilience to climate hazards, through smarter solutions in agriculture, energy, logistics, health care, and smart cities.
Silicon Valley investments in climate tech are an all-time high. Silicon Valley bank’s research shows that VC fundraising increased nearly 3x and VC investment increased more than 5x over the last six years, reaching $56 billion in the US. The new generation of leaders is emerging who start with a sustainability mindset.
Meet Lea Hadzic, a purpose-driven computer scientist passionate about AI and climate change. She is an example of the new, upcoming female leaders who are committed to solving climate change issues.
Because of her astounding research and work with Artificial Intelligence for good, Silicon Valley Times recognized her as one of the Top 10 Future Tech Leaders of Silicon Valley.
Today we’re thrilled to welcome Lea Hadzic to our media.
Hello Lea, We’re excited to have you in our media. Please tell us more about you and your work.
Lea Hadzic: Thank you for your invitation, I’m happy to be here and share my expertise. I moved from Sweden 18 months ago and was surprised by the extent of climate science politicization, lack of sustainability curriculum at school, and climate science denial in government at all levels. We cannot solve issues we do not acknowledge. Determined to do something about it, I have done independent research on how climate science denial impacts disaster preparedness in republican vs democrat states and found how science denies environmental action on all government levels across the U.S. putting people, and economies in harm’s way for climate disasters. Its aim is to shine a light on the extent of the problem. I have also conducted research in the U.S with the University of Utah and Stanford researchers on developing critical climate change science literacy for young people for civic participation. It is important because these are next-generation voters.
Politics is slow, and technology has the potential to bring solutions we need faster. Currently, I am working on the development of a product that applies remote sensing, computer vision, and deep learning techniques on satellite images, to measure and analyze heat in urban space. Urban heat island is one of the climate change effects with a direct impact on human health, drives up mortality, and has a disproportionate effect on already disadvantaged communities of color across the U.S. I work with VP
Applied Digital Innovation, at Husqvarna Group Innovation Lab. Husqvarna is a global industry leader, est. 1689, with a focus on innovation and sustainability.
I previously studied Product Design at Stanford and Entrepreneurship at Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, where I learned to design products that focus on people, challenges and are marketable.
This summer I will spend time working along with MIT researchers and professors, in a world-class, highly selective MIT summer program for talented young engineers, on application of AI and remote sensing to disaster response, a technology I have already applied in my work. It is a cutting-edge technology with broad application possibilities and a real promise to help communities across the globe.
Those were some amazing accomplishments at this young age. Congratulations for all the incredible work you are doing. Can you please share with our readers your view on how AI can help humanity?
Lea Hadzic: There is a wide range of applications in agriculture, health care, energy, logistics, smart cities and disaster response that can help us on the way to reach some of the net zero goals we have for 2050. AI is no way a silver bullet, but one of the technologies that can help.
The technology is already in use to optimize supply chains, monitor deforestation of Amazon, design greener cities, design more energy-efficient buildings, improve power storage and optimize renewable energy deployment by feeding solar and wind power into the electricity grid as needed. If we look at individuals, AI has a potential to help households minimize their energy use. Technology might move faster than politics, but the most important thing is to make next generation voters more aware and empower them with sustainable habits and understanding of how their choices impact outcomes for our world.
It was great interviewing you, Lea. Thank you for giving your busy time to educate and aware our audience.