Over the next few months, you and your computer code can hatch a plan to save a planet. It’s a fictitious artificial planet, granted, but one that simulates the economy, geopolitics and climate of our real world. And perhaps your ideas will soon prove useful here on warming Earth. Launched last month, AI for Global Climate Cooperation is a competition organised by Mila (an artificial intelligence institute in Quebec) and Salesforce Research. The group, working at the intersection between AI and economics, is soliciting submissions in the form of novel climate agreements and negotiation protocols. Academic economics is generally a conservative enterprise, but AI is slowly beginning to seep in. Instead of writing down and solving trusty formal mathematical models, with the assumptions and difficulties they carry, AI may allow economists to throw all their ingredients into a simulated stew and find out how it tastes. When it comes to saving the planet, these ingredients will be plugged into “a multi-region integrated assessment model” called RICE-N, calibrated to the latest real world data. Each proposal will change the simulated world in some way, as its AI agents go about their self-interested business. The fictitious temperature will be checked and winners will be declared. But that’s not where the work will end.
Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found here.