Bezos Earth Fund Donates $100M to AI Fighting Climate Change

As the conversation around AI technology and its potential dangers and benefits becomes more mainstream, one billionaire is doubling down on his desire to use the technology for good to help find solutions to climate change.

On Thursday, Jeff Bezos’s Bezos Earth Fund announced that the organization would be donating $100 million in grants to groups through the “AI for Climate and Nature Grand Challenge,” which will seek to help determine how “modern AI might help address climate change and nature loss” and “inspire deeper collaboration between groups on the front line of environmental solutions and leading AI technology providers.”

Related: Jeff Bezos Donates $123 Million to Combat Homelessness

The competition will have multiple rounds addressing different areas of focus and concern — for example, the first round will center on the areas of sustainable proteins, biodiversity conservation, and power grid optimization. Each round will also include a “Wild Card” category for those wishing to submit a proposal that doesn’t fall into the selected categories.

There will be two funding phases per round. In the first, up to 30 seed grants will be given to the top groups “promising AI ideas addressing the focus areas,” while the second phase will allow these awardees to apply for grants up to $2 million as well as receive mentorship and access to “computing infrastructure and relevant datasets.”

The Bezos Earth Fund said that it will accept applications from “practitioners, researchers, and innovators in universities, NGOs, private companies, and organizations” but that proposals from individuals will not be accepted.

“The future is unlikely to be characterized by straight lines and gentle curves, but rather by unexpected changes and tipping points, good or bad,” Bezos Earth Fund President and CEO Dr. Andrew Steer said in a company release. “The arrival of AI will potentially help solve very difficult challenges. With this program, we hope to make a helpful contribution.”

Applications officially open in May 2024 and those interested can apply next month, here.

Related: Eva Longoria, Bill McRaven Win Jeff Bezos Award for Charity

Last month, Bezos awarded Eva Longoria and Admiral Bill McRaven each $50 million to give to their charity of choice through the Bezos Courage and Civility Award.

Bezos revealed exclusively to CNN in 2022 that he plans to give most of his wealth away in his lifetime. As of Thursday afternoon, his net worth was an estimated $203 billion.

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