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Microsoft to develop Planetary Computer to analyze harmful factors to Earth's health

Microsoft's Planetary Computer could help us figure out the rate at which various activities are harming the planet, along with what ecosystems and elements are key to a healthy Earth.

  • Published: April 20, 2020 5:03 PM IST
Microsoft Planetary Computer

Image - Pixabay


Microsoft announced recently that it has plans for a series of initiatives aimed at advancing the protection and preservation of biodiversity in the world. The company also stated it plans to build a ‘Planetary Computer ’. The machine will be for aggregating environmental data. It would then use AI to develop and deploy technology that helps partners and customers with sustainable decision-making. Also Read - Microsoft Xbox One Cyberpunk 2077 limited edition launch teased for April 20

Microsoft also said that it would support public policy initiatives that measure and manage ecosystems. Further, the company wants to expand its AI for the Earth program to give people greater access to machine learning tools. Also Read - Microsoft Teams adds custom background support: How to use it

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The AI for Earth plan started back in June 2017. Since it has provided $50 million in cloud-based tools and AI services to organizations working towards protecting Earth. The organizations operate in five key areas. These are agriculture, biodiversity, conservation, climate change, and water. In a little over two years, the program has grown to support almost 500 grantees in 81 nations, reports Microsoft’s legal office Brad Smith. The number was around 450 grantees back in January. Also Read - Microsoft Surface Duo first camera sample revealed by Panos Panay; check details

Microsoft’s Planetary Computer

Lucas Joppa, Microsoft’s chief environmental officer describes the planetary computer as something unique. According to Joppa, the computer is a platform that borrows its approach from that of search engines and extends these beyond them in the form of a “geospatial decision engine”. This machine would be programmed with algorithms to optimize the planet’s health and support queries about the environmental status.

The purpose of Microsoft’s Planetary Computer is to spotlight species, biodiversity, and ecosystems vital to the planet. It also can assess the various factors that are adding up to the decline of the same planet. The computer will be able to gather data collected by people and machines from space, sky, ground, and water. These would go to a portal where the predictions would be publicly available.

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  • Published Date: April 20, 2020 5:03 PM IST