AI – Real World Superhero Trend #2 of 8 from Web Summit


Many worry about the impact of the future development of AI and a great deal of the concern regards how AI will change the way we do menial  tasks are widely spread. Whether robots are here to destroy us or not, current research projects show that AI could in all cases be used for the greater good.

To create a sustainable future, 10% change is not enough – we need 10x change, we don’t have 500 years!

– Robert Bernard – Chief Environmental Strategist at Microsoft

AI and machine learning are the single biggest change factors in the future. It will impact all parts of business and society – and it will provide the possibility to solve the biggest crises of our time; including the climate crisis.

AI is no longer considered primarily a corporate tool to increase automation, but instead viewed as an emerging technology to be leveraged to handle global challenges and solve complex problems in our society.


Superhero in disguise

Thanks to AI’s ability to break down barriers and provide personalization to the masses both consumers and business decision makers believe that AI will help solve large-scale problems.

Artificial intelligence researchers agree that, robots will keep us safer, by establishing cures for different diseases, enable implants that will make humans better in many ways, and even help us save the world.


One example of how AI can help increase our safety are drones equipped with shark detection systems powered by AI. These shark-detecting drones have been developed to patrol the Australian beaches to assist humans with more accuracy than the human eye.

Battery-powered drones will provide a live-video feed to a drone operator who uses the software for shark-spotting to identify sharks in real time. Swimmers will then be warned when a shark is detected. The system’s algorithms are trained to differentiate sharks from other creatures, swimmers, surfers and boats by aerial videos of sharks.


Another example of how the use of AI could help us save the world is a program developed by Microsoft called AI for Earth. The goal is to create a sustainable world, by empowering people and organizations with the help of technology.




AI for Earth is a program developed by Microsoft to empower organizations and people with the latest technology such as AI and machine learning.


Machine learning is when computer systems develop their own knowledge without human interaction. This is what allows AI to scale exponentially. Examples are self-driving cars, speech recognition and effective web search.



AI for Earth

Microsoft has initiated several projects under AI for Earth and one of them is called Project Premonition. This project can with the help of the latest technology prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases.

How it is done in practice is that autonomous drones find hotspots of mosquitos. As mosquitos carry blood from animals in the surrounding area, they also carry genetic information of these animals that can be analyzed to detect pathogens dangerous for humans.

To catch mosquitos, Microsoft have developed robotic traps that with AI can distinguish mosquitos from other insects by analyzing their wing movements. After the mosquito has been trapped, the information that they carry is sent to the cloud and in just three hours we have information on 99% of all organism that live in the area.


Using advanced cloud-scalable algorithms and machine learning, diseases like Zika, Ebola and SARS can be accurately detected. This allows aid organizations to proactively allocate resources to prevent an outbreak, potentially saving thousands of lives.



Innovations such as these are important to create a sustainable future. Robert Bernard, Chief Environmental Strategist at Microsoft, concludes that if we want to continue to live on our planet,

10% change is not enough – we need 10x change, we don’t have 500 years!





Web Summit is the world’s largest tech event, and a global meeting place for the world’s most innovative technology companies and people interested in how disruption can transform their business and everyday lives.

The event takes place during a couple of days each year and Cartina had the chance to be part of it in late 2017. We really got to experience the latest innovations and meet the frontrunners within different areas of technology – resulting in these trends.

This series consists of 8 global mega trends that business leaders, experts, innovators and disruptors talked about during the days in Lisbon. If you want to read the full report, click the button above and we will email it to you.

Here you can read about the previous trend we wrote about: AI – Doomsday Prophecy


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William Lorenz

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