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MKAI Technical Forum – AI and Environmental Sustainability: Earth Observations

MKAI January Technical Forum | AI and Environmental Sustainability | Part 1: Earth Observations

Series Rationale: The race to protect the earth gets more critical every year. The world is set to see its warmest five years on record – in a trend which is likely to continue – and is not on track to meet agreed targets to keep global temperature increase well below 2 °C or at 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations showed no signs of peaking and have continued to increase to new records. The Emissions Gap Report 2019 showed that the cuts in global emissions required per year from 2020 to 2030 are close to 3% for a 2 °C target and more than 7% per year on average for the 1.5 °C goal of the Paris Agreement. Organizations and governments are waking up, taking action, but the pace is just not matching up. We need to piggyback on exponential technologies if we are to ride out this wave successfully.

Series Objectives: Through this series of three MKAI Technical Forums, we will learn more about the massive opportunities on the horizon to shape markets and consumer behaviours with environmental data and artificial intelligence. The three forums will cover the topics of how AI is being used to create use cases around 1.) Earth Observations Data 2.) Protecting Biodiversity with AI and 3.) Sustainable Smart Cities. In January we hear from leading technical speakers about the use cases for ‘AI’ in ‘EO’.


Speaker 1: Prof. Dr. Gilberto Camara, Secretariat Director, GEO

Technical Keynote: Ontology meets Machine Learning: Challenges in Big Earth Observation Data Analysis

Gilberto is well-known in the GEO community as a leading researcher in Geoinformatics, Geographical Information Science, and Land Use Change, and he has been recognised internationally for promoting free access and open source software for Earth observation data.

Speaker 2: Grega Milcinski, General Manager at Sinergise

Technical Keynote: So much data, yet so little use (so far)

Grega Milcinski is CEO and co-founder of Sinergise, specialising in software for advanced geospatial applications, helping Europe to efficiently manage and control agriculture policy and introducing land administration systems to developing countries in Africa. With his colleagues they have recognised the potential of open Copernicus earth observation data early but soon hit a wall trying to use existing technologies to work with these large datasets. Deciding to do something about it, Sentinel Hub was born.


Speaker 3: Catherine Nakalembe (Ph.D.), Assistant Research Professor, University of Maryland

Technical Keynote: Harnessing EO with Machine Learning for Food Security in Africa

Catherine is the Africa Program Director in the NASA Harvest Program and is known for her work using remote sensing and machine learning technology supporting the development of agriculture and food security across Africa. She pioneered the remote sensing by unmanned aerial vehicles in surveying refugee settlements and landslide mapping in Uganda. She has conducted research in remote sensing of drought, agriculture, and leading the integration of earth observations in agricultural monitoring of small holder agriculture in multiple countries.

January 27 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm


Online with Zoom