Bad Pyrmont, Deutschland — photo by @sebastian_unrau

AI & Forestry Tech Startups

Assisting the Restoration of Our Ecological Environment with Artificial Intelligence

Although I have no illusion that advancements within the field of artificial intelligence or companies thereof can be the solution in the context of the climate crisis I do think they can be part of the solution. Thus progress within forestry technology is interesting. This short article can be seen as a summary of an already short article and is meant to spark some thoughts on how AI is being used in forestry tech startups, and what other forestry tech startups are doing to address the whole value chain.

On the 19th of March the publication EU-startup published a list called 10 promising European forestry tech startups to watch in 2020. Not all companies do necessarily use explicit solutions within the field of AI, however it seems most have advanced forms of analysis involved. I will attempt to summarise the startups mentioned in the article here.

  1. Xylene. Tracking wood for value chain / supply chain (based in Germany).
  2. Timbeter. Timber measurement and data management using artificial intelligence and machine learning (Estonia).
  3. 20tree.ai. Predictive planet intelligence by analysing satellite imagery using artificial intelligence (based in the Netherlands).
  4. CollectiveCrunch. SaaS solution that predicts wood mass, wood species and wood quality of target areas — they call it an AI platform (baed in Finland).
  5. Ecosia. Search engine that plants trees and uses advertising revenue from basic search queries to reforest the planet (based in Berlin).
  6. Satelligence. Leverages satellite data against deforestation (based in the Netherlands).
  7. Tesselo. Tackles natural disasters with satellite images and artificial intelligence, assisting with monitoring capacities (based in Portugal).
  8. Dendra Systems. Leveraging artificial intelligence and drones to plant trees faster (based in the United Kingdom).
  9. Land Life Company. Patented product that enables trees to grow in dry and degraded land (based in the Netherlands).
  10. Terramonitor. Working to democratise satellite data — their maps are maps are pre-processed using artificial intelligence and machine learning models (based in Finland).

Seeing from this you can see a wide-range of applications across the sector working to maintain or protect our forests. I would argue this paints an interesting picture for those who want to enter the space or seek out some of these companies to work with them.

There are also more recent efforts to combine comprehensive local and international knowledge with that of these new technology companies. We are likely to see more of this in the time ahead.

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 291. I am writing one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days. My current focus for 100 days 200–300 is national and international strategies for artificial intelligence. I have decided to spend the last 25 days of my AI strategy writing to focus on the climate crisis.

AI Policy and Ethics at www.nora.ai. Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own. twitter.com/AlexMoltzau