Microsoft has announced its support towards a German startup named Breeze for developing AI-based solutions for improving the air quality as part of their AI for Earth initiative.
Breeze Technologies is a company that develops air quality sensors for efficiently measuring air quality. These sensors can be installed in any place to measure the pollutants in the air which may include nitrogen oxides, ammonia, ozone or particulate matter.
Rather than just measuring the data, the company also has a citizen portal for making people aware of their surrounding air quality. “Cities usually only maintain few air quality monitoring stations. The collected data therefore does not have the necessary relevance for most citizens. Our citizen portal for air quality data provides comprehensive and hyperlocal air quality data and is a one-stop shop for interested citizens,” reads their website.
For processing huge chunks of data, the company has been making use of Azure cloud. The founder of Breeze Robert Heinecke has plans to incorporate AI to increase the efficiency of their solutions and this is where Microsoft comes into the picture.
The blog post by Microsoft claims that Breeze has already received $12,000 in cloud credits for setting up an ML dev environment in Azure. “We have now set up our own AI experimental laboratory to test how AI can support us even better in our added value,” said Mr. Heinecke in the post.
AI will be implemented for improving the accuracy of the measurement data and will help collect accurate details by measuring the anomalies caused by errors in the devices. External environmental influences will be taken into consideration as well. AI will also be used to determine when the sensors have to get replaced or repaired.
Also, AI will help to make accurate predictions if the air quality is about to undergo a significant increase by linking weather data to the data from measuring stations so that people who are allergic to polluted air will get some time to either prepare for the climate or stay out of the city for a while.
“The mills of the administration grind slowly. Some cities may also prefer not to know exactly how bad the air really is, because then they would have to act,” said Heinecke which shows the ignorant nature of the government towards a critical issue like air pollution.