outthink air pollution


On the African continent, over 750,000 deaths
per annum are due to air pollution. It’s the single largest environmental health
risk that we’re facing. Johannesburg is a very vibrant city. It’s a cosmopolitan city, and there’s a lot
of diversity. Such an environment actually spurs human ingenuity
and innovation. That’s a big part of why I’ve chosen to remain
in Africa. Johannesburg is well on its way to becoming
a megacity. With a lot of that migration there are certain
unintended consequences, motorization, urbanization, waste burning. The challenge really is how can we actually
grow our economies in a sustainable and responsible manner. We view this as a data problem. Most of the models for weather prediction
are numerical models. We’re using cognitive computing, where we
make use of machine learning. These are systems that can understand. They can reason. They can learn. They continuously improve themselves. We’ve got the software solution in place. To come up with a holistic solution, we do
need to solve the data problem. A lot of organizations are collating it for
compliance purposes. We’re partnering with city governments. We’re partnering with environmental protection
agencies and various other stakeholders. So what we’re doing is converting that data
into insights. So we understand the technology, but they
understand the challenges on the ground. It’s a partnership in the true sense of the
word. Some of the potential outcomes include the
empowering of citizens so that they can make more informed decisions. For business, they’ll be in a position to
self-regulate. For government, it may mean that they’re in
a position to make decisions using the best information available about how to expand
public infrastructure as well as how to police industry. Predicting outcomes and improving the outcomes,
that’s what it means ultimately. Yes, I do believe I’m in the right place.

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