IBM’s 5 in 5 predictions 2020

1 Capturing and transforming CO2 to mitigate climate change

In the next five years, we will be able to capture CO2 from the air and transform it from the scourge of the environment into something useful. The goal is to make CO2 capture and reuse efficient enough to scale globally so we can significantly reduce the level of the harmful CO2 in the atmosphere and, ultimately, slow climate change.

2 Modeling Mother Nature to feed a growing citizenry while reducing carbon emissions

In the next five years, we will replicate nature’s ability to convert nitrogen in the soil into nitrate-rich fertilizer, feeding the growing world while reducing the environmental impact of fertilizers. We’ll come up with an innovative solution to enable nitrogen fixation at a sustainable scale and help feed the world’s rapidly growing population.

3 Rethinking batteries before we have to rethink our world

In the next five years, we will discover new materials for safer and more environmentally-preferable batteries capable of supporting a renewable-based energy grid and more sustainable transportation. Many renewable energy sources are intermittent and require storage. The use of AI and quantum computing will result in batteries built with safer and more efficient materials for improved performance.

4 Sustainable materials, sustainable products, sustainable planet

In the next five years, we will advance materials manufacturing, enabling semiconductor manufacturers to improve the sustainability of their coveted products. Scientists will embrace a new approach to materials design that enables the tech industry to more quickly produce sustainable materials for the production of semiconductors and electronic devices.

5 Learning from our past for a healthier future

In the next five years, we aim to help facilitate the generation of treatments to aid physicians and front-line workers in combating novel, life-threatening viruses on a larger scale than is currently possible. A combination of AI, analytics and data can potentially help with the rapid analysis of real-world medical evidence to suggest new candidates for drug repurposing and speed clinical trials. In the future, these tools may reach widespread adoption across industries, effectively becoming one of the means of rapidly responding to global, life-threatening viruses.

Sharing her views on the relevance of the predictions, Gargi Dasgupta – Director, IBM Research India and CTO IBM India/South Asia said, “The 5 in 5 predictions are a great way to convey how breakthroughs in science can positively impact and change some aspect of our lives. 2020 has re-iterated the essential role of science and the need for clear actions to combat some of the greatest challenges of our time –whether it be fostering good health and clean energy to bolstering sustainability and climate action. Contributing to sustainable development is a core element of IBM’s research agenda and we have long recognized the urgency to find sustainable solutions to everyday problems. For the first time in history, we have the right tools at our disposal to make this vision a reality — quantum, artificial intelligence (AI), powered by Cloud.

We are committed to applying our technology capabilities and deep industry expertise to find more efficient, intelligent, and sustainable solutions that can address key challenges presented by climate change. IBM Research – India is developing a suite of AI applications for food (farm to fork) and manufacturing supply chains focussed on optimizing the utilization of resources and maximizing productivity while being sensitive to their environmental impact (greenhouse gas emissions). We are developing state-of-the-art algorithms to enable intelligent, self-correcting climate aware supply chains for the retail and fashion industries for an enhanced demand forecasting and to optimize inventory, order management, and making supplier relationships sustainable. We are extending our efforts into food supply chains by building AI to help with climate resilience enabling sustainable procurement and responsible carbon tagging of consumer products. We are also developing technology to make hybrid cloud more carbon-aware and responsible from the workload to the datacenter level.”

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