Articles  |    |  October 6, 2020

AI for climate: freedom, justice, and other ethical and political challenges

Article by Mark Coeckelbergh. Published in AI and Ethics.


Artificial intelligence can and should help to build a greener, more sustainable world and to deal with climate change. But these opportunities also raise ethical and political issues that need to be addressed if this project is to be successful. For example, the use of AI and the required data centers may involve high energy consumption, vulnerability to climate change and impact of climate measures differ across the globe and raise issues of justice, and when dealing with climate change in a way that influences or governs human behavior, there are trade-offs between effective measures that mitigate climate change and respecting human freedom. AI may also contribute to increasing humanity’s hyper agency in relation to the planet, thus adding to what is known as the problem of the “Anthropocene”. This article outlines and discusses these issues, with a focus on problems concerning freedom and justice at a global level, and calls for responsible use of AI for climate in the light of these challenges.