Microsoft and National Geographic have selected eleven changemakers to receive more than $1.2 million in grants to help their projects, which apply AI to help people understand the world and protect it. The joint partnership of the two companies are part of Microsoft's AI for Earth Innovation Grant, which rewards people who develop projects using AI and machine learning to improve the way people "monitor, model, and ultimately manage Earth’s natural systems for a more sustainable future."
Changemakers that will receive funding include Kelly Caylor, who will produce an online map with geospatial tools to better estimate the change of agricultural land use and the use of groundwater, as well as Joseph Cook, who intends to use machine learning, drones, and satellites to study the earth's crysosphere. Microsoft has the full list of those selected, each of which have their own initiatives to improve the environment in areas such as sustainable agriculture and climate change.
In addition to the financial funding the program will provide, recepients will also get access to Microsoft Azure and its AI tools, will be included in the National Geographic Explorer community, and will also be affiliated with the National Geographic Laps initiative to "accelerate transformative change and exponential solutions to the world’s biggest challenges by harnessing data, technology and innovation."