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Microsoft today announced a series of initiatives aimed at advancing the protection and preservation of biodiversity and ecosystems around the world. It said that it would support the development of a “Planetary Computer” to aggregate environmental data and would leverage AI to develop and deploy technology that helps partners and customers with sustainable decision-making. Microsoft also said that it would advocate for public policy initiatives that measure and manage ecosystems and that it would expand its AI for Earth program to give grantees greater access to machine learning tools. AI for Earth kicked off in June 2017, and it has provided over $50 million in cloud-based tools and AI services to organizations working to protect the planet across five key areas: agriculture, biodiversity, conservation, climate change, and water. In a little over two years, the program has grown to support close to 500 grantees in 81 countries, reports Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith — up from around 450 grantees in January. “Nature and the benefits that it provides to people are the foundation of our global economy, our culture, and the overall human experience,” said Smith during a press event this morning. “We depend on clean […]

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