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And now for the pollution forecast...

Could artificial intelligence be used to predict and prevent the severity of pollution?

Pollution over Beijing from Shutterstock.com

Anyone who’s lived in Beijing for more than 11 minutes will be aware that air pollution levels have a bigger effect on life here than the weather. Even the British staffers at Time Out don’t talk about the weather. Now we’re talking about the IBM supercomputer that’s hopefully going to be able to generate 72-hour pollution forecasts.

According to Technology Review they’re going to be 30 percent more accurate than current methods. IBM is currently training its machine by using years of pollution data, allowing it to use the patterns detected to forecast future pollution levels.

As well as basing forecasts on weather patterns, it will also use industrial output and traffic congestion. Then things start to get really interesting: it’s hoped that as the technology allows for ever more distant forecasts – of up to ten days – the Government can take measures to prevent those particularly bad days from actually happening. Like a PM2.5 Minority Report.

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