AI AS A GAMECHANGER FOR SUSTAINABLE EVENT MANAGEMENT?
Everyone is talking about the new era of artificial intelligence. ChatGPT is a household name as one of the best-known AI innovations of recent years – but what exactly lies behind these euphonious buzzwords and how does this innovative leap go hand in hand with our aspiration to act ever more sustainably? Are sustainability and artificial intelligence compatible? What challenges and opportunities does the use of AI present in terms of sustainability? And how can events benefit from this technology?
Not only in the future, but already today, AI has a firm foothold in our everyday lives – without us always being aware of it. We use it, for example, in the form of voice assistants like Alexa and Siri. As one of the most important technologies of digitalization, AI improves the recognition of speech, the translation of texts, or navigates us through traffic in a predictive manner. There are numerous optimization possibilities that can also be applied to other areas of our society, such as currently one of the most important: sustainability.
We take a look at the general compatibility of AI and sustainability based on the three dimensions of sustainability – ecology, economy and social – and then transfer this to the event sector. Because here, too, there are points of contact for combining sustainability and AI and thus achieving a positive impact on the environment, the economy and society
The entire portfolio of capabilities that AI has to offer reveals the enormous potential to address the ecological challenges of our time: for example, AI can analyze how circular economy can be optimized by means of waste sorting or even which tree species should be planted to build robust forests. AI helps us increase recycling rates of textiles, plastics or commercial waste. In addition, AI can also contribute to direct nature conservation, for example by evaluating data on the frequency and distribution of endangered animal and plant species and thus providing recommendations on suitable conservation measures in an even more targeted manner.
Just as AI can identify and improve ecological potential, the same applies to economic potential: companies can use AI to increase their operational resource efficiency and thereby reduce their costs. This can be done, for example, through predictive maintenance of machines, process and product optimization, or optimized logistics planning. More efficient use of materials and energy can not only protect the environment but also strengthen competitiveness. For the positive environmental effects, however, it is a prerequisite that the AI itself is energy- and resource-saving in order to ensure the positive environmental effects.
The trend towards sustainability is evident everywhere - whether in clubs, companies, initiatives, associations or as individuals - commitment to the environment is growing everywhere. So is the commitment to greater tolerance and diversity. In this regard, AI can help to implement these efforts even more effectively through data analysis. By providing more and more accurate data, artificial intelligence is helping to better understand the diversity and individualization of people and their environment. AI is able to meet individuals in their interests and needs, creating a more inclusive and tolerant atmosphere in which self-development and acceptance of different lifestyles becomes possible. This potential can be used for forward-looking, public welfare-oriented and goal-oriented action.
AI MEETS SUSTAINABLE EVENT MANAGEMENT
All these potentials are also finding use in the event industry and can contribute to more sustainable events and optimized individualization - from voice and facial recognition to data analytics.
As early as the event planning stage, AI systems can help select the best venues for events by taking into account factors such as traffic conditions, environmental impact and energy consumption. AI-based traffic management systems can manage and optimize traffic and visitor flow during events by monitoring traffic conditions in real time, helping to improve resource management.
In addition, AI can minimize the use of resources such as electricity, water and paper. Demand is monitored in real time and automatically adjusted. To improve waste management during events, AI systems can use surveillance cameras to capture waste generation and identify patterns. This optimizes waste disposal and reuse. Alternatively, AI can automatically manage waste disposal and ensure that waste is properly sorted and recycled.
Going further, artificial intelligence can also be used in personnel management at events. It can manage staff more efficiently by calculating the number of staff needed and assigning staff accordingly to avoid overtime and unnecessary travel, or even by assigning tasks automatically to increase efficiency and minimize human error.
In addition to the aforementioned implications for events, however, the focus here is also on the customer experience. AI can support personalization at an event by processing and intelligently applying Big Data. This way, guests are perceived individually and behavior patterns are tracked. With intelligent services, AI can evaluate the collected user data and use algorithms to adapt its own offerings to the personal needs of guests and optimize them in real time during the event.
POTENTIAL FOR SUSTAINABLE EVENTS
Artificial intelligence offers potential for sustainable event management and can help events to be more needs-oriented and sustainable by automating processes and thus contributing to a reduction in waste, energy consumption and CO2 emissions. It can also improve event personalization through intelligent data analytics, optimizing the customer experience.
The use of AI for environmental and climate protection is diverse, but it is also always associated with a high consumption of power and resources. Behind every AI application is a physical infrastructure consisting of hardware, data centers and data transmission centers, which gives AI an environmental footprint. At the same time, however, much CO2 can be sequestered through its use, including through improved resource management.
It is not yet possible to make a precise statement about the offsetting CO2 savings and optimizations and energy consumption from the AI itself. It is therefore important to consider and specifically minimize these negative impacts by promoting renewable and environmentally friendly energies. After all, the sustainability of the AI ultimately depends on how sustainable the power that runs it is. The more sustainable the electricity is, the more sustainable the AI will be.
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