In the United States, researchers have used AI to create sensors capable of determining the pollution caused by the traffic of trains transporting coal. The results are not good.
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[EN VIDÉO] Interview 1/5: air pollution is everywhere We are constantly confronted with an invisible and insidious threat: air pollution….
For some, AIs present an existential threat; for others, their power improves the quality of human life. But if their consumption energyenergy substantial, they can also make it possible to carry out advanced scientific studies in mattermatter d’ecologyecology to reduce pollution.
This is the case in Vallejo, California (United States) where Nicholas Spadea scientist and engineer in aerosolsaerosols at the University of California at Davis, has created a strange machine whose data is processed by artificial intelligence. The equipment carried on a tripod includes a camera, a sensorairair, a weather station and an AI-powered processor. Its objective: to collect long-term information on local air quality.
But not just anywhere, only at the level of the railway tracks used to transport coalcoal. For six months, with his team, he placed his device to identify the passage of trains carrying coal and record their impact on air quality. It must be said that in the United States, around 70% of the coal is transported by train from dozens of mines to power plants and maritime terminals. Thus, 513 million tonnes of coal were transported from one end of the country to the other, not counting exports of 85 million tonnes. The problem is that this coal travels in open-air wagons. As soon as there is ventventand with the vitessevitesse train, these cars release a lot of dust.
An AI to defend populations against pollution
Previously, to measure the impact of this dust released by the wagons on the air quality, it was necessary for humans to count the coal trains and then compare the data recorded by sensorssensors ambient air. The use of automatic cameras was not satisfactory. But with the system developed by the team of researchers, artificial intelligence makes it possible to identify the precise moments when these trains pass 24/24 by systematically recognizing them.
The analysis of the pollution data is then coupled with that of the images and that of the local weather. In finethe data analyzed by the team showed that when passing through the city, trains carrying coal significantly increase ambient PM2.5, in other words, the level of fine particles (2.5 micronsmicrons of diameters). This type of particle is associated with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and increases local mortality. Even short-term exposure to PM2.5 can harm health. Thanks to this AI, and this in-depth study of the real state of ambient pollution generated by coal dust and diesel from trains, the local populations who collaborated with the researchers could make themselves heard by the authorities so that these the latter legislate against this pollution.