January 4, 2023

Climate Change AI Co-Founder Dr. Priya Donti

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Priya Donti is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Climate Change AI (CCAI), a global non-profit initiative to catalyze impactful work at the intersection of climate change and machine learning.


Our discussion today dives into the climate change related applications of AI and machine learning, and how organizations are working towards mobilizing them to address the climate problem. Priya shares her thoughts on advanced technology and creating a dystopian version of humanity, what made her decide on her Ph.D. topic, and what she learned touring the world interviewing power grid experts around the world.Key Points From This Episode:

  • Priya shares her take on ChatGPT.
  • We talk about ChatGPT guard rails and whether it should be done manually or with built in technology that automatically detects issues.
  • Concerns with the concept of advanced technology and creating a dystopian version of humanity.
  • What made Priya want to get into her particular Ph.D. topic.
  • What surprised her about her tour around the world interviewing people.
  • Priya explains what she means by a 'systems problem.'
  • Machine learning and AI in power grids; what is the thrift of opportunity?
  • Priya speaks to the reason why she found a climate change AI organization.
  • Narrowing the focus, in AI and Climate Change, as an organization.
  • Priya shares an example of what work looks like for someone in a role with machine learning and climate change.
  • Recent wins in the climate change world and how they measure the success of their progress.
  • The gap between the vision of where she is now and where she wants to be in the medium term.

Tweetables:“When we are working on climate change related problems, even ones that are “technical problems” every problem is basically a socio-political technical problem, and really understanding that context when we move that forward can be really important.” — @priyald17 “Machine learning in power grids and really in a lot of other climate relevance sectors can contribute along several themes or in several ways.” — @priyald17 “What prompted us to found this organization, Climate Change AI, to really help mobilize the AI machine learning community towards climate action by bringing them together with climate researchers, entrepreneurs, industry, policy, all of these players who are working to address the climate problems and sort of to do that together.” — @priyald17 Longer quote“So the whole idea of Climate Change AI is rather than just focusing on what can we as individuals who are already in this area do to do research projects or deployment projects in this area, how can we sort of mobilize the broader talent pool and really help them to connect with entities that are really wanting to use their skills for climate action.” — @priyald17


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