Waste management is a serious issue affecting the world around us. Most of us are already aware of the many problems caused by plastic waste in the oceans. As some industries introduced rules to help minimize waste generation, the current trends predict that plastic waste in landfills will reach a whopping 12 billion metric tons by 2050.
Countries like the US and China generate about 40% of all waste, and they still don't have a working solution for recycling and reusing waste. However, AI could offer an industrial solution to the waste problem. It could help turn the battle of waste management around forever.
The Role of AI in Waste Management
You might be wondering how AI could possibly help with waste management? When most people think of AI, they imagine smart apps, various business applications, and similar things. However, AI also works closely with robotics, and robots can sort through garbage better than any human can.
With the right system in place, AI can automatize the entire waste management process and provide an industrial solution to one of the biggest issues of the 21st century. Artificial intelligence can control the process through advanced cameras and other available technologies.
That will not only reduce human injuries but will also ensure that all waste is filtered accurately. The same method can help manage industrial waste, space junk, food waste, and everything in between.
Industrial Waste Management
You must have seen the movie "Idiocracy." The main character is frozen in time in the early 2000s, and he wakes up in the year 2500. Everything around him is just mountains of garbage for as far as he can see. That's how many movie producers picture the future of Earth, and if things keep going in the same direction, their vision will turn into a reality.
Managing the endless tons of waste produced by industries and households all over the globe can be done only with the right AI solution. As mentioned above, it will automate the process, but it will also increase transparency throughout the entire process.
The internet has been able to increase awareness about the problem. The increasing public interest has led to new laws and regulations for industrial waste management. The recycling industry is growing at a steady pace, but it can't cope with the amount of waste produced every year. Even with all the effort so far, over 60% of solid waste ends up in landfills. The world needs a better industrial solution enforced by all industries everywhere.
AI can help companies create the so-called "circular economy." That means that companies can use AI to recycle their own waste or at least sort it for further processing. AI solutions provided by Wizata can identify different types of waste, and find potential improvements to improve the entire sorting process. It provides real-time insight and data analytics of all recycling facilities to ensure that all waste is sorted correctly by robots. It's a practice that will define industrial waste management in the 21st century, and we can't wait for it to happen.
Even though most people are not aware of it, space junk is another major problem the world will have to face soon. The European Space Agency estimates that close to 130 million pieces of junk are orbiting the Earth at all times. Space junk is making space travel more dangerous, and it's negatively affecting communication and weather observations.
A seemingly impossible problem can be solved with advanced AI technologies as well. For example, NASA's Deep Asteroid challenge is actively looking for people to help create an ML system designed to prevent the same fate the dinosaurs went through millions of years ago. The planet is surrounded by thousands of comets and large pieces of space debris that could cause serious damage.
It's safe to say that we've developed methods for accurate space junk detection, but the question is - how do we remove it from orbit? Some AI developers plan to deploy a satellite that catches space debris using polymeric foam. Once they capture about a ton of junk, gravity will simply pull the junk towards the ground, and it will burn in the atmosphere. It's an incredible plan that could clear Earth's orbit from debris once and for all.
AI is not only capable of providing industrial solutions to waste management. It can also help manage waste in the food industry. The current estimations say that AI can help generate up to $128 billion by 2030 by tracking all food supplies in commercial kitchens. Most people are not aware that as much as 35% of all food goes bad before even reaching consumers.
AI can help with food waste by using smart bins that identify waste foods more accurately than kitchen staff. Less food waste means more revenue and ROI. There are many different AI solutions designed to help manage food waste, but we are still to see them in action across countries all over the world.
The Role of Machine Learning
Every AI solution uses machine learning to find problems and propose the right solutions. In other words, AI is able to identify patterns and learn without any direct programming. Machine learning is the process of developing programs that can access various data pipelines and use the information to learn how the system works.
As a result, the program can identify key information, adapt to what it finds, and update the learning process to provide an industrial solution to the problem. It does everything with little or no human interaction. AI became extremely popular across many different industries because it allows human employees to focus on other things.
Artificial intelligence is usually used to automate repetitive tasks to boost productivity and efficiency. When it comes to industrial solutions AI is already taking over many industries such as retail, health care, mining, the recycling industry, and many others.
AI - The Smart Solution to the Waste Problem
There are many different approaches to industrial waste management, and most of them use some kind of AI to make the best decisions. Whether it's using smart trash cans to sort the garbage using sensors and thrash records, or a complex sorting system on an industrial scale, we couldn't get far without the use of AI and ML.
It’s an industrial problem that needs an industrial solution. The technology is here and it can be used to decrease waste production on a global scale. We hope that countries everywhere will realize the severity of the issue. The sooner they adopt AI as a waste management solution, the better.