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IBM Enhances Geospatial AI to Tackle Environmental Concerns

International Business Management IBM recently announced certain advancements in geospatial AI technologies to effectively address the climate challenges and better manage the issues arising from it. IBM is collaborating with academic institutes and public enterprises worldwide to accelerate research and further boost the capability of its Geospatial AI models.

The company teamed up with Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence to analyze the Urban Heat Islands (UHI) in UAE. UHI indicates an area in a city where temperatures are significantly higher compared to its surrounding areas. Human-built infrastructures, including buildings and roads, are the primary reason for this phenomenon. This is a growing concern in the UAE. However, IBM’s geospatial foundation model analyzed the urban landscape of Abu Dhabi and mitigated the heat island impacts. Leveraging the research findings, the city is able to lower the heat island effects in the region by around 3 degrees Celsius.

In the United Kingdom, IBM is partnering with the Science and Technology Facilities Council to manage climate-related concerns across the country. Royal HaskoningDHV, a consulting engineering enterprise, utilizes IBM’s geospatial AI features to automate and optimize the risk evaluation process. The insights will help to form a better understanding of the long and short-term impact of weather changes on aviation operations. IBM is also supporting the TreeAI project where insights generated from AI models will chalk out the urban locations for tree plantation.

Water sustainability is a vital issue in Kenya. Degradation of crucial ecosystems, including forests and wetlands, which are natural catchment areas, is disrupting the water supply sources across the country. This can have far-reaching effects on the region’s climate features, biodiversity, agriculture and people’s livelihood overall.

The government of Kenya has initiated the National Tree Growing and Restoration Campaign and inked a Memorandum of Understanding with IBM to support the initiative. Leveraging IBM’s geospatial foundation models, a digital platform is developed to augment the tracking and monitoring of tree plantation activities. It also enables the creation of new models through the integration of localized information with geospatial AI catering to specific use cases in water tower regions.

The geospatial applications are gaining increasing market traction across industries. The geospatial AI combines satellite images and weather information to craft models that give critical environmental insights. The developed models can be calibrated in several sectors that are affected by climate-related issues. IBM is also partnering with the prominent space agency NASA to develop an innovative AI foundation model for weather and climate. The solution aims to speed up weather forecasting while ensuring precision and cost efficiency.

The company is poised to benefit from strong demand for hybrid cloud and AI, driving growth in the Software and Consulting segments. Its growth is expected to be driven primarily by analytics, cloud computing and security in the long haul. A combination of a better business mix, improving operating leverage through productivity gains and increased investment in growth opportunities will likely drive profitability.

IBM is also betting big on the Watsonx platform, which is likely to be the core technology platform for its AI capabilities. Watsonx delivers the value of foundational models to the enterprise, enabling them to be more productive. This enterprise-ready AI and data platform comprises three products to help organizations accelerate and scale AI: the watsonx.ai studio for new foundation models, generative AI and machine learning, the watsonx.data fit-for-purpose data store, built on an open lake house architecture, and the watsonx.governance toolkit to help enable AI workflows to be built with responsibility and transparency.

The stock has gained 8.9% over the past year compared with the industry’s growth of 5.9%.

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IBM currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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