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Sol Hsiang Awarded NatGeo AI for Earth Innovation Grant

Solomon Hsiang, Chancellor’s Associate Professor of Public Policy, is one of eleven changemakers selected to receive a Microsoft and National Geographic AI for Earth Innovation Grant to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to help understand and protect the planet. Each AI for Earth Innovation Grant recipient will be awarded between $45,000 and $200,000 to support their innovative projects. Professor Hsiang and his team will use 1.6 million historical aerial photographs to discern the effect of major droughts and climate change on human migration in Africa.

The eleven projects were selected from an impressive pool of more than 200 applicants. The high caliber of the applications prompted Microsoft and National Geographic to increase the funding for the 11 chosen projects from the initially planned $1 million to more than $1.28 million. This furthers the organizations’ commitment to investing in novel projects that use AI to help monitor, model and ultimately manage Earth’s natural systems for a more sustainable future.

The grant recipients and their project members will have the funds, computing power, and technical support to advance exploration and discover new environmental solutions in the following core areas: sustainable agriculture, biodiversity, climate change and water. The diverse group hails from around the globe, originating from six countries and working in eight regions across five continents.

The 11 AI for Earth Innovation Grant recipients were announced at an event on Tuesday at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Read the full announcement at National Geographic.