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Source: Medium as of 26-04-2020

Recently, Nestle and InSites Consulting’s chatbot research experiment was awarded top honors at the Australian Market and Social Research Society (AMSRS) Conference. It was a bot moderated research that aimed to find business-relevant results in the sphere of people’s attitudes towards waste and waste management. The most interesting aspect of this study, however, was the control group; that is a comparable group for whom the same study was moderated by an experienced qualitative researcher. In this way, the study went on to prove the efficacy of conversational AI systems in researching issues of sustainability. Nestle Australia stated that such bot moderated studies when administered on a large scale can prove to be a solution to the challenge of waste management which is haunting the whole world. They stated the results are likely to help in their efforts towards using more sustainable forms of packaging, concentrating on the aspects of usability alongside recyclability of the packaging materials.

Opportunities for AI in Sustainability

Such research method seems especially promising in the sphere of not only industrial research but also the implementation of sustainability programs as has been found in many cases. This is because the conversational chatbots can help in collecting much larger sets of textual data as well as spreading information at a wider scale than is possible by any other means at such a personalized level. However, this project mostly suggested the scope for greater implementation of conversational AI technology in the mixed-method research where deeper learning can be achieved by the human background stuff. Yet, this is not to say that a deeper AI learning and analytics technology cannot be developed. Some of the best examples are that of FarmGrow and Karma to name a few which help in creating ecosystems for more sustainable farming and reduction in food waste. Therefore, across the life cycle of human food AI is trying to create sustainability. AI is also being used by companies and governments to create various forms of energy efficiency systems which will help in cutting down GHG emissions in the long run. But there seems to be justified concerns about the cost of implementing such systems and their economic sustainability in that respect. There can also be concerns about data processing capacity.

Decentralization for Sustainable AI

OLPORTAL provides a blockchain-based decentralized marketplace for AI chatbots developed on the platform or outside by individuals and organizations. The marketplace allows people to deploy these bots at a competitive rate and with a degree of flexibility. OLPORTAL also allows for incentivizing the users to download and use the chatbots through negative pricing. Also, these bots will be shown only to the interested people based on relevant data making the chances of use much greater. In all these ways the chatbots aimed at sustainability can turn out to be cost-effective since the development and promotional costs are reduced significantly through the platform. Therefore, for sustainable conversational AI systems, aimed at sustainability, to be economically viable decentralization seems to be a necessity, unlike the more corporatized AI applications which can expect to earn direct profits.

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