Microsoft thinks a ‘planetary computer’ will help resolve our sustainability issues, and salvage our future

Microsoft is coming up with a biodiversity initiative which aims to aggregate environmental data from around the world and analyse in a new “planetary computer.”

“We will combine this with new work to enable partners and customers to use the resulting output to enhance environmental decision-making in their organisational activities,” Microsoft wrote in its blog.

The company called the move a step towards “sustainability efforts for 2020, focusing on preserving and protecting the biodiversity and health of the world’s ecosystems.”

The planetary computer would provide access to trillions of data points collected by people and by machines “in space, in the sky, in and on the ground and in the water.”

As the name suggests, Microsoft's Planetary Computer concept will crunch numbers on a global scale.

This would let people get answers for modern day problems by providing access to state-of-the-art machine learning tools. This computer would offer insights into critical questions that scientists, conservation organisations and businesses ask regularly.

Microsoft said that the planetary computer would also help organisations which conduct expensive, on-the-ground surveys to understand local forests by providing satellite imagery, state-of-the-art machine learning tools, and user-contributed data about forest boundaries.

Apart from all this, it would allow scientists and governments across the world to combat climate change by combining satellite imagery with AI to provide up-to-date information about ecosystems.

Microsoft wants to begin the project by creating a new AI for Earth partnership with the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network.

The tech giant revealed that they are strengthening their partnership with Esri, a company that is a market leader in geographical information system software, to advance environmental goals globally.