Helping to Confront Climate Change With AI-Generated Images of Anywhere in the World
From October 31 to November 12, more than 100 heads of state and thousands of diplomats are meeting in Glasgow for COP26, this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference. They are negotiating to set new targets for cutting worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, with the intended goal of preventing the average global temperature from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to pre-industrial levels.
As global leaders meet, the question of how climate change affects us A new website called [This__Climate__Does__Not Exist] – launched by a group of AI intelligence research institute – seeks to generate more awareness about climate change and help everyone take action. technology, the website allows users to visualize the effects of extreme weather events – flooding, air pollution, and wildfire smoke – at any address in the world through automatically generated images.
“These images are AI-generated and do not exist,” the website reads, “but the environmental disaster they portray is very real.”
Bringing Climate Change Close to Home
“Climate change is a wicked problem, because there’s a lag between the actions we do today and their result,” explains Sasha Luccioni, postdoctoral researcher at Mila and one of the leaders of the project. “Even if we hit the brakes on emissions now, we might only see the results in 50 years.”
The idea behind the This Climate Does Not Exist website and its technology is to reduce that psychological distance by using images that are familiar to the viewer, and showing what they could look like if they were affected by extreme
Flood Against the Machine
This Climate Does Not Exist generates images thanks to a machine-learning images, text, and even music, from a training set. algorithm that teaches itself to generate increasingly realistic images of flooded areas by discriminating between real and fake images. Ubisoft partnered with Mila’s researchers specifically to help the GAN generate images of flooded areas.
“To train the AI, you have to show it a ton of images of areas before and after they’re flooded,” explains Yves Jacquier, executive director at Ubisoft La Forge, Ubisoft’s Montreal-based research and development hub. generates images on its own, and discriminates between real and fake images. anymore, and you know your images look real enough.”
For Luccioni, This Climate Does Not Exist came after an epiphany about how her research in AI was squaring up with her personal beliefs. working on applied AI research in finance, and it didn’t feel aligned with my social involvement and personal beliefs with regards to the environment.” Research projects like the ones she has a chance to work on at Mila show the
Nov 10, 2021 at 11:29