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Technological and Surveillance in the world of Sustainability

  • By Christiane Lemma
  • May 13, 2022

Technological innovation can be one of the most significant factors in saving the environment in the future. As David Biello mentions in “The Curated Wild,” are machine learning and AI. Machine learning is the concept of learning the most effective means of an action, for example, which area is the most productive in planting a particular plant species so that it is optimal for growth. Machine learning has the capability of replicating certain ecosystem environments so that we can grow environmental systems to make up for the ones that have been irreparably damaged.

This system can also help avoid extremely vulnerable areas to avoid damage, as well as expose resources that we are able to safely use without extremely damaging the environment. We are also able to collect information from the environment that can tell us the history of the ecosystem we are using and how we can implement this data to different means to achieve optimal growth. AI, in the form of drones and computer programming are also able to complete tasks at a much faster rate than human beings, for example planting seeds, fertilizing lands, and even taking care of plants.

They can also be efficient in the monitoring of air pollution as well as animals that are in the ecosystem. Through this efficiency, numerous environmental issues can be effectively solved or vastly improved. The rate at which we can grow certain types of crops and care for species of plants can become systematic and structured for the most optimal growth and outcome. The monitorization for certain environments and species can also assure the safety of these animals and conservation of these lands by individuals who could want to take advantage.


Another way that technological innovation can save the environment as W. Wait Gibbs highlights this in his ‘A View from Everywhere, All the time’ article, is the accountability and transparency that results from technological surveillance. Human beings can often overlook or forget the impact or consequences of their pollutive actions. Often devaluing the negative environmental outcomes due to the perception that the worlds resources are infinite and the globe itself is incredibly large. Surveillance and transparency can be vital in saving the environment, as people change their actions depending on wither they are observed or not. Considering the tragedy of the commons and ecosystem resources vs. our collective use, some individuals tend to abuse the resource because others would not be aware of those actions. However, this would change completely if they knew they were being observed. Individuals would alter their environmentally damaging actions to avoid being held responsible. Overtime this could change behavior so that transparency has resulted in individuals habitually being wary of their impact on the environment.

Biello, D. (n.d). The Curated Wild.  Anthropocene. https://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/2019/06/the-curated-wild/

 Gibbs, W.W. (n.d). A View From EverywhereAll the Time. Anthropocene. https://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/2019/06/a-view-from-everywhere%e2%80%89-all-the-time/

By Christiane Amare Lemma