AI can predict air pollution levels in advance
(Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

London: Scientists have developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) system which they say can predict air pollution levels hours in advance. The technology is novel for a number of reasons, one being that it has the potential to provide new insight into the environmental factors that have significant impacts on air pollution levels, said researchers at Loughborough University in the UK.

The project focuses on using AI to predict PM2.5 — particulate matter of less than 2.5 microns in diameter — that is often characterised as reduced visibility in cities and hazy-looking air when levels are high. There are systems that already exist that can predict PM2.5 but the new research looks to take the technology to the next level, said Yuanlin Li from Loughborough University. The system predicts PM2.5 levels in advance — giving predictions for the levels in one hour to several hours' time, the researchers said.

It interprets the various factors and data used for prediction, which could lead to a better understanding of the weather, seasonal and environmental factors that can impact PM2.5, they said. The AI system has the capabilities to be used as an air pollution analysis tool in a carbon credit trading system, the researchers noted.

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