Algae Bioreactor: An AI Tool Against Global Warming
Wed, April 14, 2021

Algae Bioreactor: An AI Tool Against Global Warming

Artificial intelligence has found its way into the heart of several industries across the world by enabling machines to perform tasks the way humans do / Photo by: Leung Cho Pan via 123RF

 

Artificial intelligence has found its way into the heart of several industries across the world by enabling machines to perform tasks the way humans do. The majority of today’s AI technologies are not operated by humans. Instead, they consist of sophisticated algorithms that analyze data rapidly so that they can carry out their specific tasks. 

Reports showed that a substantial majority of consumers are interacting with AI in many ways. vXchnge, an organization that operates a network of strategically located, software-defined, edge colocation data centers delivering more than 99.99999% uptime, reported that 77% of consumers are already using AI technologies. However, a fair number of people are not aware that they are using one. Only 33% of them are aware that they are using AI.

AI technologies are widely known for increasing productivity in businesses and making things easier for ordinary people. This is because AI has the potential to automate many time-consuming tasks as well as free people up to perform more high-value labor. AI technologies could deliver as much as $2.9 trillion by business value as they increase productivity by 40%. At the same time, these can recover a whopping 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity by 2021.

Thus, it’s not surprising that AI technologies are also being used to save our planet. For many years, AI has become a great tool in helping scientists know the status of climate change and give solutions. It is also continuously being used to warn humans of the severe impacts of the climate crisis. 

Using Algae and AI to Save the Planet

With the rising global temperatures, tiny organisms like algae are becoming an issue in a lot of coastal regions. However, researchers have found a way to use them to save the planet from climate change through the help of AI. 

Most people are not aware that algae play a significant role in the regulation of carbon dioxide. According to Algae Research Supply, a small company supporting education on aquatic systems that aim to promote the understanding of our universe through the application of the scientific method, algae produce more than half of the world's oxygen through photosynthesis. If you live near water, you’ve probably seen some kind of algae growing in the water. They can be found not only in the ocean waters but also in damp places on land.

Aside from producing oxygen for our planet, algae also play a significant role in encouraging the proliferation of other ocean-dwelling species by providing safe habitats for marine organisms. While the overgrowth of algae can unbalance ocean ecosystems, their proliferation in both fresh and saltwater environments can support healthy populations of numerous fish and crustacean species. 

Recently, AI company Hypergiant introduced a new method that combines AI with algae and aims to trap carbon dioxide and reduce global warming. The company hopes that this could potentially reduce the rising global temperatures on a massive scale. 

With the rising global temperatures, tiny organisms like algae are becoming an issue in a lot of coastal regions. However, researchers have found a way to use them to save the planet from climate change through the help of AI / Photo by: Daniel Poloha via 123RF

 

AI Technology That Uses Algae

Algae are an integral part of our ecosystem. But too much of it can also be dangerous. Harmful algal blooms or the overgrowth of algae in the water can have severe impacts on human health, aquatic ecosystems, and the economy. This means it can worsen climate change instead of stopping it. With AI, this microorganism can become a tool to fight global warming. 

According to Business Insider, an online business site with deep financial, media, tech, and other industry verticals, researchers from Hypergiant built the EOS bioreactor, an AI-powered machine that aims to draw as much carbon dioxide out of the air. It works by using AI to help analyze and regulate the growth of algae in glass tubes. Once the bioreactor is done capturing carbon dioxide, the algae are then harvested and extracted into a dry film that can then be mixed with animal fertilizer.

This is one of the examples of carbon-capturing technology that scientists could use to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. "'Tomorrowing today,' our tagline, is about delivering the future that we were promised that we've read about, that we've heard politicians talk about. Delivering on that future that isn't just aspirational but actually should be here,” Hypergiant CEO Ben Lamm said. 

The researchers explained the AI technology can utilize the natural process of photosynthesis to filter emissions and capture carbon. Daniel Haab, Hypergiant's research and development director, stated that the EOS bioreactor is completely powered by AI. "Our goal is to make it so that no one needs to monitor or maintain this machine when it's out in the field," he said.

However, Lamm emphasized that there is not a single bioreactor that can clean up the world by itself. According to Mic, an online site that reports the most important issues through diverse perspectives, there needs to be a "new form of hyperlocal, decentralized supply chain.” At the same time, bioreactors like this should coexist alongside other initiatives.

“We want cities, companies, and individuals to adopt this technology not just because it’s the right thing to do but also because it’s cheaper and more practical than the alternatives," Lamm added. 

Additionally, the researchers are aiming to release an open-source plan and build a connected grid of bioreactors. These machines can learn from one another by feeding them with data.

The use of algae and AI has great potential to reduce the impacts of climate change. The world is still fortunate that many people continue to work tirelessly to find solutions to the global climate crisis.