As technological advancements and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) is more frequently being used to fight climate change and global pollution, an interesting question arises: Should we attempt to avoid hyping AI as the earth’s saviour?
Drones are using night vision to track elephant and rhino poachers in Africa’s parklands whilst Smart Submersibles are navigating Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to save coral from carnivorous starfish. Professor Peter Dauvergne argues that although AI is generating some environmental gains, powerful corporations and states are exaggerating the benefits, ignoring the risks and deploying AI in ways antithetical to sustainability.
In the third instalment of the QUT Global Law, Science and Technology Series, Peter discussed how the competition to profit from artificial intelligence has the potential to entrench technocratic management, rev up resource extraction, and turbocharge consumerism and therefore has the potential to generate new forces of inequality and injustice.
The presentation can be viewed online at The QUTUBE, the official YouTube channel for Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
Peter Dauvergne is a professor of international relations in the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. A specialist in global environmental politics, his books include AI in the Wild: Sustainability in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (MIT Press, 2020), Will Big Business Destroy Our Planet? (Polity, 2018), Environmentalism of the Rich (MIT Press, 2016), Protest Inc.: The Corporatization of Activism (with Genevieve LeBaron) (Polity, 2014), and Eco-Business: A Big-Brand Takeover of Sustainability (with Jane Lister) (MIT Press, 2013).
About the series
The QUT Global Law, Science and Technology Seminar Series aims to bring together national and international speakers who will explore the personal, societal and governance dimensions of solving real world problems which are influenced by, and through the interactions of science, technology and the law.
The series will host speakers who think about ‘technology’ and ‘science’ as broadly construed to refer to methods of framing or interacting with the world, and that enable the critical and imaginative questioning of the technical, science, environmental and health dimensions of law and life.