Good news on climate change!

COP, the United Nations’ annual global meeting on climate change, is being held in late November.  Bill Gates says, “There are more reasons to be hopeful than many people realize—and it’s not just that renewable energy sources like wind and solar are getting cheaper. And it’s not just because many of the steps already taken to reduce carbon emissions are working: Carbon emissions from fossil fuels will probably peak in 2025. The main thing that makes me optimistic is all the innovation I’m seeing. Some people are skeptical when a technology person like me says innovation is the answer. And it’s true that new tools aren’t the only thing we need. But we won’t solve the climate problem without them.”  Read more of what Bill Gates had to say on climate change.

An electric fire truck in green bay’s future?

Green Bay’s Metro Fire Department is considering buying an electric fire truck. Such vehicles are reported to be much quieter than the traditional truck and exude no fumes. The elimination of background noise might improve the scene, making radios and shouts unnecessary. This electric truck could pump water continuously for four hours on a single battery charge. Electric fire trucks cost more than standard trucks, of course, so funding options would have to be explored.

Is that your voice – or is it AI?

Nan Nelson, Envision Board Member and Economic Transformation Signals Team

A new startup is using AI to make non-English call center employees, who are often located in India, Pakistan or the Philippines, sound American. Founded in 2020, Sanas now provides companies with a proprietary AI software that works in real-time to alter users’ voices to sound more “Western.” Its aim is to “improve human-to-human relationships,” but critics argue the plan is fraught with ethical and psychological implications. Some say it puts the onus on non-Westerners to cater to Western interests. Read more here.