Artificial intelligence, systemic risks, and sustainability

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Date
2021
Authors
Galaz, Victor
Centeno, Miguel A.
Callahan, Peter W.
Causevic, Amar
Patterson, Thayer
Brass, Irina
Baum, Seth
Farber, Darryl
Fischer, Joern
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Technology in Society ; 67 (2021). - 101741. - Elsevier. - ISSN 0160-791X. - eISSN 1879-3274
Abstract
Automated decision making and predictive analytics through artificial intelligence, in combination with rapid progress in technologies such as sensor technology and robotics are likely to change the way individuals, communities, governments and private actors perceive and respond to climate and ecological change. Methods based on various forms of artificial intelligence are already today being applied in a number of research fields related to climate change and environmental monitoring. Investments into applications of these technologies in agriculture, forestry and the extraction of marine resources also seem to be increasing rapidly. Despite a growing interest in, and deployment of AI-technologies in domains critical for sustainability, few have explored possible systemic risks in depth. This article offers a global overview of the progress of such technologies in sectors with high impact potential for sustainability like farming, forestry and the extraction of marine resources. We also identify possible systemic risks in these domains including a) algorithmic bias and allocative harms; b) unequal access and benefits; c) cascading failures and external disruptions, and d) trade-offs between efficiency and resilience. We explore these emerging risks, identify critical questions, and discuss the limitations of current governance mechanisms in addressing AI sustainability risks in these sectors.
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320 Politics
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Artificial intelligence, Climate change, Sustainability, Systemic risks, Anthropocene, Resilience, Social-ecological systems, Automation, Digitalization
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Cite This
ISO 690GALAZ, Victor, Miguel A. CENTENO, Peter W. CALLAHAN, Amar CAUSEVIC, Thayer PATTERSON, Irina BRASS, Seth BAUM, Darryl FARBER, Joern FISCHER, David GARCIA, 2021. Artificial intelligence, systemic risks, and sustainability. In: Technology in Society. Elsevier. 67, 101741. ISSN 0160-791X. eISSN 1879-3274. Available under: doi: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2021.101741
BibTex
@article{Galaz2021Artif-59971,
  year={2021},
  doi={10.1016/j.techsoc.2021.101741},
  title={Artificial intelligence, systemic risks, and sustainability},
  volume={67},
  issn={0160-791X},
  journal={Technology in Society},
  author={Galaz, Victor and Centeno, Miguel A. and Callahan, Peter W. and Causevic, Amar and Patterson, Thayer and Brass, Irina and Baum, Seth and Farber, Darryl and Fischer, Joern and Garcia, David},
  note={Article Number: 101741}
}
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