Chatham House’s Hoffmann Centre for Sustainable Resource Economy in collaboration with DeepMind Ethics & Society are hosting a dialogue on Artificial Intelligence for a Sustainable and Healthy Food System to be held at Chatham House on November 28, 2018.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to address a defining issue of our time – the safeguarding of Earth’s natural resources whilst sustaining a healthy population. The current global food system is unsustainable, inefficient and ill designed to cater for the growing biophysical and population pressures set to increase in the coming century. The current system accounts for up to 30 per cent of global anthropogenic GHG emissions, consumes half of all habitable land and 70 per cent of freshwater, and is a major source of biodiversity loss. More importantly, the existing food system is also failing to deliver on its primary role of nourishing a growing global population: 1 in 3 people are malnourished, 155 million children are stunted and 2 billion adults are overweight or obese.
This workshop will explore how AI can catalyse a disruptive transformation of the current food system towards a more diverse, resilient, regionally adapted and healthy model for the future. We will discuss what role emerging technologies, such as the internet of things, big data and deep learning, can play in efforts to help tackle food security issues, predict famine and food-borne disease outbreaks, reduce food loss and waste and help improve sustainable management of land, water and other environmental resources critical to ecosystem health. Understanding the potential negative social and environmental challenges AI technologies pose and the ethical implications likely to arise will be important to inform the collaborations, dialogue and governance needed to safeguard and steer the landscape shift AI represents.
This is one of a series of dialogues Chatham House is organising in partnership with DeepMind Ethics and Society on the beneficial use of AI for the sustainable resource economy. Subsequent workshops in the series will focus on AI’s role in industrial transformation and in bringing about a revolution in global logistics.