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Hi, this is Michelle. As Geneva prepares to host the AI for good summit, excitement is in the air around all the positive ways in which these potent technologies can be harnessed. One humanitarian organisation has been using an AI-driven tool to look into the future of mass human movements.

But while for humanitarians predicting crises may be about saving lives, others with political agendas are exploiting such tools for less generous reasons.

photo journaliste

Michelle Langrand


On our radar

Photo article

The Adre refugee camp, 10 April 2024. Chad is home to the largest number of Sudanese refugees at nearly a million, half of which have crossed from Sudan since the civil war broke out in April 2023. (Keystone/AFP/Joris Bolomey)

The number of people driven out of their homes by climate change, conflict, violence, persecution or other hardships has never been higher, with around 110 million people displaced in 2023, according to UN figures. Meanwhile, humanitarians are stretched thin, increasingly juggling between multiple conflicts and crises. For the past five years, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) has been testing a tool it hopes will help aid actors and governments anticipate migration surges and perhaps even prevent them by tackling the root causes.

Foresight – as the name indicates – is a machine-learning algorithm able to predict the number of displaced people from one to three years into the future. For Charlotte Slente, secretary general of the aid organisation in Copenhagen, the AI-driven model has the potential to help “prevent instead of treating the symptoms of a crisis”.

Read the full story on Geneva Solutions

Reason for hope

🌊TOP OCEANS COURT’S MILESTONE CARBON EMISSIONS RULING. Greenhouse gases are pollutants that are damaging the marine environment and states have a legal obligation to reduce them, a global maritime court decided on Tuesday, in a milestone step for climate justice.

Why it’s positive. The advisory opinion, given by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, is a historic moment for small island states, which brought the case to the court after increasing frustration with the pace of international climate talks, and as their nations face increasing danger from rising sea levels.

Though the unanimous opinion by 21 judges is not legally binding, it states countries have a clear obligation “to take all necessary measures” to prevent, reduce and control marine pollution from anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Observers said the decision could also help set a precedent for future court cases, with national and international authorities likely to face more lawsuits for climate change-related damages.

What the experts say. “The tribunal’s opinion leaves no doubt: states are duty-bound to protect the oceans from the drivers and impacts of climate change,” said Nikki Reisch, director at the Geneva-based Center for International Environmental Law.

Gaston Browne, prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, said small island states are “fighting for their survival”, and the decision would “inform our future legal and diplomatic work in bringing an end to inaction that has brought us to the brink of irreversible disaster”.

- Kasmira Jefford

Here’s what else is happening

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