AI: the French Ekimetrics launches a “chatGPT” dedicated to the climate
Posted Apr 7, 2023, 5:53 PM Clean and ergonomic, this web page seems quite ordinary….
Posted Apr 7, 2023, 5:53 PM
Clean and ergonomic, this web page seems quite ordinary. But on closer inspection, it houses a most useful online tool: a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence to “answer” questions relating to climate .
Accessible to the general public for a week in beta version, this online application called “Climate Q&A” was created by teams from Ekimetrics, a French company specializing in artificial intelligence and data management.
A “climate chatbot” linked to ChatGPT
“The chatbot is connected to ChatGPT which formats the answers to the questions in an intelligible way. This is the strength of this AI. We, as data-scientists, manage all the data part. As we are talking about climate, the primary objective was that users receive reliable answers,” explains Théo Da Silva Costa, in charge of the sustainable development and climate unit at Ekimetrics.
To achieve this, the chatbot will only draw on the ten most relevant extracts from around twenty scientific reports. Among them are the works of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the International Energy Agency, IPBES nicknamed the “IPCC of biodiversity”.
“Are humans responsible for climate change? What are the main principles of the Paris Agreement? Is climate change irreversible? », as on the ChatGPT interface, users are free to ask any questions about the climate, and the Ekimetrics AI provides constructed answers, with the precise page of the scientific document used.
Tested by one of the IPCC co-presidents
This tool, which to date is unprecedented in the world of generative artificial intelligence, has been undergoing tests for three months in order to “strengthen its algorithm” and ultimately avoid errors. In particular climatosceptic responses. To bolster the credibility of their “Climate Q&A”, its designers asked climate scientists and educators to test it.
“It’s powerful, we can see the interest in avoiding tedious searches. It’s more ‘user friendly’ than looking in the PDF of a report”, moreover confided the scientist Valérie Masson-Delmotte to the specialist media on ecology “Vert”, the first to reveal the existence of the chatbot .
The co-president of group 1 of the IPCC, however, notes “contradictory things” between several sources, and recommends according to “Green” that the algorithm rather start from the summaries for decision-makers of the latest IPCC report (published between August 2021 and March 2023) in order to “respect the hierarchy of the information presented”.
“The tool is still in the testing phase. Thanks to the feedback from our users, we optimize as much as possible”, concedes Théo Da Silva Costa. And Laurent Félix, Managing Director of Ekimetrics to clarify: “This is not a marketing stunt for our company. Our ambition is really to become a reference for Internet users looking for general knowledge on environmental subjects. This tool has a real general public and educational vocation. »
Data science at the service of the climate
Founded in 2006, Ekimetrics has solid know-how in artificial intelligence coupled with data management. “In fact, for our client audits, we have already developed very advanced tools to collect, classify and enhance complex information. In particular those relating to CSR and ESG. As a company with a mission, providing this free tool to the public is part of our social and environmental values,” confides Laurent Félix. The group, which raised 25 million euros in 2022, has 450 employees around the world.
“Climate Q & A” is based on an already existing technology of the company to fight against “greenwashing”. Behind the chatbot, there is a team of four data specialists and two environmental consultants, as well as a doctoral student in text analysis.
For the moment available only in English, the chatbot will embed several other languages, including French. And Théo Da Silva Costa concludes: “It should also be noted that a search on Climate Q & A emits approximately five times more CO2 than a search on Google. This is one of the problems of generative intelligences like ChatGPT . We hope to fix this in the future. »