Artificial Intelligence Summer School event: AI for Sustainability

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UPDATE 29.08.23: Due to popular demand we are now at capacity for onsite attendees. Please feel free to register to attend this event REMOTELY but please note we have no more slots available onsite. We are looking forward to welcoming you virtually to the event.


We are delighted to announce that the following partners – RDI hub, Microsoft Ireland, Munster Technological University, the SFI ADAPT Centre for AI Driven Digital Content Technology, Tangent (Trinity’s Ideas Workspace), AI Ireland, IT@Cork Skillnet and South Kerry Skillnet along with new partner 2050 Accelerator, Ireland’s National Sustainability Accelerator, run by Dogpatch Labs, which connects startups, industry, and national assets to accelerate towards Net Zero, will jointly host a hybrid Artificial Intelligence Summer School event on the 7th and 8th of September 2023.

This year’s summer school will deep dive into the area of AI for Sustainability with both core and applied research tracks. With a stellar lineup of 19 speakers from four countries over two half days, this will be an unmissable event, including keynotes and panel discussions along with networking opportunities.

We have a stellar lineup this year with speakers from Ireland, France, Germany and the US. Keynote speakers include Colleen Josephson, Assistant Professor at the University of California, Caroline Lair, Founder of The Good AI, Professor Vinny Cahill Trinity College Dublin, Marguerite Nyhan of University College Cork and Professor Joseph Walsh of Munster Technological University.

The core research elements of this summer school will appeal to professors, post docs, PhD students, researchers and graduate students in the fields of AI, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing. The applied elements have a broader appeal and are accessible to anyone with an interest in Artificial intelligence and the various way it can be deployed.

Day 1 | Thursday 07-September 1.00pm to 6.00pm GMT : AI For Sustainable Agriculture

12.30 | Tea / Coffee / Pastries on arrival

1.00pm | CEO of the RDI Hub, Liam Cronin opens the AI Summer School.

1.15pm | Colleen JosephsonAssistant Professor at the University of California. Topic: ‘Sustainability, Agriculture and Technology: Sensing Our Path to a Greener Future’. Technologies like artificial intelligence have the potential to address some of our generation’s biggest challenges, but the advances that have led to today’s enormous leaps in progress often have an underlying environmental impact. This talk explores the cost of today’s technologies, and how we can innovate to have both sustainable AI and AI for sustainability.

2.00pm | Caroline Lair, Founder of The Good AI / Tech for Sustainability. The Good AI is empowering companies, startups and talent using AI to address sustainability challenges in various industries.

2.45pm to 3pm | Tea / Coffee break & Pastries

3.00 pm | Professor Joseph Walsh (MTU). Topic: “How the utilization of AI in Sustainable Agriculture will be the driving force behind the 4th Agricultural Revolution”

The advent of new technologies are having such a transformative effect on farming and agribusiness, it has been titled “The 4th Agricultural Revolution”. This revolution brings with it technological developments such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, advanced sensor technologies, drone deployment, machine learning and robotics.

Low cost high performance sensor technologies are allowing a vast amount of data to be collected, this data can be interrogated using AI and Machine Learning to provide farmers with assistive technologies that can inform better decisions which is of benefit to processors, consumers and the environment. A technology revolution is also taking place. Breakthroughs in nutrition, genetics, informatics, satellite imaging, remote sensing, meteorology, precision farming and low impact agriculture mean smart Agricultural Technologies (AgriTech) has huge potential for development.

The agri-food supply chain uses smart AgriTech from the planting of seeds, harvesting of crops, breeding, treating disease, transportation and commercial sales. AgriTech is rapidly becoming one of the world’s fastest growing and exciting markets. It is driven by global challenges: a rising population, rapid development of emerging economies with western lifestyle aspirations and growing geopolitical instability around shortages of land, water and energy.

This presentation will discuss how IoT and AI technologies will contribute to address all of these challenges through improvements in yield and efficiency with a reduced environmental impact, including carbon reduction and improved biodiversity and in-turn drive the 4th agricultural revolution.

3.30pm | Sarah O’ Neill, Global Strategy Lead Carbery Group. Topic:The use of AI and enhanced data analytics across the Dairy Supply Chain’

AI has the potential to revolutionise the Agrifood industry, enabling more sustainable farming practices, enhancing efficiency, and transforming customer experiences.

This presentation will give a snapshot of the current application of AI and data analytics at ‘Farm Zero C’ our climate-neutral, economically viable model dairy farm. On farm, real time data analytics and AI-powered ground sensors and satellite imaging spectrometry are ushering in a new era of precision agriculture. The synergy between AI and traditional farming knowledge is driving the industry towards greater productivity and environmental stewardship.

At a processing level, raw material testing, grading, and quality control processes are streamlined with greater accuracy, ensuring enhanced quality and efficiency. We will discuss how with AI-driven optimisation, production lines operate with improved efficiency, minimising downtime, and maximising yield. We will look at the tools we use to elevate customer experience to new heights through data driven supply chain management.

4.00pm | Assistant Professor Soumyabrata Dev (UCD) Topic:Remote Sensing for Climate, Air Quality, and Weather Prediction’

In the age of advanced technology, remote sensing has emerged as a powerful tool that revolutionizes our understanding of the natural world. This talk delves into the pivotal role of remote sensing in assessing and addressing critical environmental challenges. From monitoring climate patterns and gauging air quality to enhancing the precision of weather prediction models, remote sensing techniques offer unparalleled insights into the complex interplay between Earth’s systems. Join us to explore how cutting-edge satellite imagery, sensor networks, and data analytics are reshaping the way we perceive, predict, and respond to the intricate dynamics of our changing planet.

4.30pm | Dhairya Bhatt, Drone Engineer at ZenaDrone Ireland/UK/Europe. Topic: ‘Sustainable farming with AI drones.’

The talk will cover the current farming situation and how it is improving with technology, how drones are not only a photography tool. Use cases of the drone. Drones in agriculture and how AI and machine learning can be a key revolution in agritech.

5.00pm | Luca Marchesotti, CEO Gemmo AI : Topic: Sustainable Visions: Computer Vision’s Role in Advancing Agriculture and Energy

The intersection of artificial intelligence and sustainability presents a myriad of opportunities to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. This talk will spotlight the transformative potential of computer vision in both sustainable agriculture and energy production:

Vertical Farming Revolution: Dive into the world of vertical farming where automatic robot failure detection is enhancing yields. By swiftly identifying and rectifying robot malfunctions, we ensure consistent crop growth, reduce waste, and optimize resource utilization, leading to more sustainable food production.

Empowering Remote Communities: Discover the power of automatic potato blight detection, a tool that safeguards the livelihoods of farmers in remote regions. This innovation not only ensures food security but also minimizes the use of harmful pesticides, promoting eco-friendly farming practices.

Energizing the Future: Explore the application of visual wood chip analysis in maximizing the efficiency of biomass plants. By ensuring the quality and consistency of wood chips, we enhance energy production, reduce waste, and contribute to a sustainable energy landscape.

Join us in this exploration of computer vision’s pivotal role in driving innovations that bridge the gap between technology and sustainability, ensuring a balanced coexistence of food security and clean energy.

5.30pm | Patricia Scanlon : Founder of SoapBox Labs | Ireland’s AI Ambassador

6.00pm | Day 1 Ends

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Day 2 | Friday 08-September 9.00am to 1.00pm GMT : AI For Sustainable Transport / Carbon Reduction

8.30am | Tea / Coffee

8.45am | Liam Cronin CEO of the RDI hub, Introduction and Summary from Day 1

9.00am | Joan Mulvihill, Digitalisation & Sustainability Lead at Siemens : Topic: ‘The Art of AI – for Sustainability, for everything’

Is it really the shortcoming of human intelligence that has held us back in addressing the challenges of climate change? It seems to me that the more we algorithmically programme, automate and digitalise all that can be algorithmically programmed, automated and digitalised, the more human our organisations can become – because the only thing left for the humans to do is that which is truly human. How ready are we to embrace our humanity? There is a certain irony of organisations that have rewarded the humans who perform most like good machines – present, reliable, consistent and error free – while simultaneously creating machines to perform like humans. How can we be the best humans for the digital age of this physical world? Embracing AI will serve the planet when we remember that being data driven does replace being human led. We need both.

9.30am | Professor Vinny Cahill (TCD) Topic: ‘Towards Sustainable Mobility Models for a Just Transition.’

Trinity’s E3 SUMMIT initiative ( is bringing together a multidisciplinary team of researchers who are reimagine, design, and promote future models of city/region-scale sustainable mobility provision and the governance structures, policies and technologies that will enable them. This talk will provide an overview of the motivation for, approach, and key activities being pursued in the project highlighting the need to offer viable alternatives to current models of private car usage.

10.00am | Dr. Marguerite Nyhan (UCC) :Topic: ‘Intelligent & Data-Driven Solutions for Sustainable, Net Zero & Healthy Future Cities’

Dr Nyhan will discuss her research which harnesses new and emerging technologies in the development of intelligent solutions for sustainable, net zero, healthy, liveable and equitable urban areas.

10.30am | Benjamin Cheret (Head of European Projects Pole Tes, France) : The French AI For Sustainability story.

This talk will aim at showing how France is using AI to work on sustainability issues, not only in terms of environmental preservation but also economic and social development, and how it has impacted public policies. A few concrete example of projects that have been implemented recently will be given.

Coffee Break | 11am to 11.15am

11.15am | Professor Rowan Fealy (Maynooth University). Topic: ‘Terrain AI : Advancing Carbon Measurement Standards’ & Brian Mullan (Microsoft) Topic: ‘Uncovering new insights to support effective climate change decision-making.’

11.45am | Gavin Shorten (IBM) Topic: ‘Sustainability in Action – An Enterprise Point of View on the Industry, State of the Art and the Opportunity.’

During this session we will take a whistle stop tour through the dangers of greenwashing, explore the data, governance and AI applications of technology to sustainability. Examples of the current market offerings, the state of the art and the opportunity for high potential start-up and scaleups will also be discussed.

12.00 | Cathal Foley (Fexco) Topic: ‘PACE – Innovating to enable opportunities in Sustainability Technology. ‘

With a focus on innovation and access to strategic partners in aviation, we take care of the ESG Professional charged with reporting carbon emissions and meeting requirements. We help Finance and Portfolio Management in measuring risk and optimising business performance. And we support Marketing and Sales in creating growth through sustainable business initiatives.

12.15 | Eamonn Galvin (KnowCarbon) Topic: ‘Using AI to accelerate the measurement and reduction of carbon emissions at global scale.’

A key building block in reducing emissions is understanding the carbon footprint at a product level. See how AI can accelerate this process and lead to significant reductions in emissions.

12.30 | Ashley Shak (Dogpatch Labs) Topic:’ Leveraging AI for Sustainability Innovation in the 2050 Accelerator’

The 2050 Accelerator is Ireland’s national sustainability accelerator, and aims to bring global talent to our island to make it a testbed for sustainability innovation. In its first year, 2050 recruited 12 late-stage startups to apply their innovative technologies to address pressing sustainability issues such as decarbonisation, biodiversity loss, animal health, and the circular economy. Startups in this cohort are leveraging the power and potential of AI systems to set their sustainability solutions apart from current market leaders, employing specialised functions around machine learning and neural networks. This talk will explore the insights and learnings from the accelerator, and how we can apply them to future innovations in the climate tech space.

12.45 | Julian Kakarott: CEO CarbonStack. Topic: ‘Climate Protection for generations : Create security in an uncertain climate using Deep Tech. ‘

CarbonStack enables companies to make reliable decisions in an uncertain climate. Forest owners and companies investing in carbon credits share the fear of global warming and its effects on the ecosystems they invest in. We gather vast amounts of environmental data from various sources, process all of it in our environmental engine that is based on decades of research and provide our customers with environmental predictions based on different climate scenarios. With our tools we help to optimise the carbon uptake of large afforestation projects in Europe and enable the transition of unstable ecosystems into long term carbon sinks.

13.00pm | Event Ends

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