Tech giant Google is championing artificial intelligence (AI) to solve global problems in the areas of health, the prediction of natural disasters, cultural and environmental conservation, and agriculture.

"We believe that AI can help solve some of the most difficult social and environmental challenges of our time," said Jeff Dean, head of the company's Artificial Intelligence department in Tokyo said Wednesday.

Much of Google's work in this area focuses on automated learning, a branch of computer science that aims to provide computers with the ability to learn without being programmed.

This requires a large volume of data from which rules and patterns are extracted that are then applied to a computer program with the end aim that it will later react when exposed to new data.

This technology would render the work of data analysis experts redundant, however, Google considers that this will be a huge improvement in this field particularly when it comes to scientific areas or places in the world where specialists are scarce.

"We work with product teams and non-profits to find new application areas for AI.

"We look at which solutions will have an impact in the world and how we will maximize that impact," Dean said.

One field where Google AI is being applied is medicine. Specifically in the early detection of diseases such as diabetes or various types of cancer through the computer analysis of X-Rays and CAT scans.

Organizations that fight for the preservation of the environment have also benefited from this technology, such as the Rainforest Connection, which uses Google's TensorFlow tool to locate sounds emitted by chainsaws and logging trucks in protected forest environments.

This program has also been used to track whales in US waters, manage the accumulation of waste in Indonesia, to detect pests that threaten crops in India or to predict floods and their effects.

Other projects include the development of speech recognition models that recognize the speech of people with disabilities, such as the blind or those with of Parkinson's and motor neuron disease, or the transcription of old documents in Japan.

"We are already seeing how AI can benefit society," the Google head of AI concluded.

This year Google presented "IA for Social Good", an initiative that is committed to addressing global challenges through technology. EFE-EPA