AI for the environment hackathon

18 Aug, 2022
She sharp

In September AUT will host the female-led AI hackathon AI for the environment in a weekend of creative problem-solving.

The hackathon takes place on 3 and 4 September at AUT City Campus and is open to participants from all backgrounds and experience. No previous coding experience is required. Director of Women in Technology Senior Lecturer Mahsa Mohaghegh says many people from industry have already signed up. “This hackathon will be a wonderful opportunity for networking, learning new skills and engaging in purposeful problem solving.”

She Sharp Hackathon is part of the AI EnviroHack series being held in the leadup to the AI Summit on 12 September. It is an all-female-led and non-binary 32-hour hackathon, which aims to help individuals to understand they belong in tech and that there are various roles available in the tech industry. The She Sharp Hackathon is supported by the AI Forum, AUT, AWS and Deloitte.

“Unfortunately women are still underrepresented in the tech world. Creating spaces like this hackathon is a way for us to break down the barriers to the tech world, and help build a more diverse industry.  I’m excited to see how the hackathon participants will work on developing AI solutions for the environment, says Dr Mohaghegh.

The AI Forum recently published a report on AI for the Environment and the Hackathon will focus on the first area highlighted in the report:

Build a coherent environmental data ecosystem

  • Deploy AI alongside other new technologies to enhance environmental data collection.
  • Develop a national environmental open data framework.
  • Consider where and how mātauranga Māori may be incorporated within Government AI systems.
  • Coordinate the development of standards and best practices for environmental data management

What might a solution look like?

  1. Demonstrate the collaboration of citizen science with academic and government research to uncover previously hidden insights. This may include emissions, erosion, native and non-native flora, fauna and sea life, and waste.
  2. Demonstrate bringing together data from different sources for an environmental purpose without impacting data sovereignty, e.g. Federated Data; Data Mesh; etc.
  3. Consider the deployment of AI alongside other new technologies to enhance environmental data collection, enabling the incorporation of mātauranga Māori and principles of accessibility and openness into a climate change solution.

If you’re passionate about using Tech for Good, you want to be part of NZ's very first female-led hackathon, come along pitch an idea and create/join a team. This is the ideal opportunity to hone your skills with real-life problems and learn to collaborate with others (designers, UI/UX, software engineers, business people and non-technical participants).

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