SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
SDG 13: Climate Action
SDG 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Please describe Other
Cloud computing, video game technology, and entertainment
2. Project Details
Company or Institution
World Integration Loop (WIL)
General description of the AI solution
We’re building a platform we call the World Integration Loop (WIL), in which earth data is integrated with video games in the cloud to drive positive climate action. Games include digital goods platforms to raise funds that are directed to climate action partners. These partners in turn collect GIS, LiDAR, IoT, and other data which is uploaded telemetrically to the cloud. AI and ML algorithms oversee this data in a data lake and establish dependencies between gameplay and data fluctuations. Games are therefore designed to become more fun the more the earth heals, driving exponential, cyclical engagement with players.
We are using GPT-3 from OpenAI to develop our platform. Initially we imagined that this AI would help us create procedurally generated dialogue for characters in game worlds. Now we are using it to design the very system it is part of. GPT-3 has provided us with a development roadmap that incorporates Azure and other software products to produce the WIL.
We were recently accepted into the startup program at ESRI, the company largely responsible for managing GIS data. We are currently focused on establishing partnerships with key stakeholders in the technology, gaming, and fashion industries, including Microsoft, Unity, Ubisoft, and the Kering Group.
Inclusion in the IRCAI Global Top 100 would be a tremendous win for us at this crucial, early stage. We would use this opportunity to establish strong relationships with UNESCO, UNEP, and key industry partners, and articulate strategies in alignment with the UN’s SDGs.
Excellence and Scientific Quality: Please detail the improvements made by the nominee or the nominees’ team or yourself if your applying for the award, and why they have been a success.
Using NASA’s TRL methodology, the WIL is currently at TRL-3.
Co-founder Ryan Boudinot got the initial idea for the WIL in March, 2020. As a freelance writer and editor, he had contributed to numerous marketing campaigns for Microsoft Azure. Building upon his understanding of cloud computing, he conceived of a feedback loop between earth data collected by IoT monitors and video games, facilitated by the cloud and AI/ML.
Ryan spent the pandemic consulting with experts in geospatial data, game design, digital goods marketplaces, land stewardship, and cloud computing and established ongoing relationships with key decision makers at Microsoft, ESRI, Unity, Ubisoft, UN Environmental Programme, UsTwo Games, Flash Forest, The Surfrider Foundation, and the International Game Developers Association Climate Action Special Interest Group.
Concurrently, Anthonio Pettit, a contractor at Microsoft, was conducting experiments using GPT-3, the AI developed by OpenAI. He designed a series of experiments to see if GPT-3 could assist in project management. These results of these experiments led him to develop Structured Speculation, an AI that reverse engineers the steps necessary to achieve a desired outcome. GPT-3 largely designed its own algorithm.
In June, 2021, we used Structured Speculation to generate a plan based on the following prompt:
“Create the World Integration Loop using the following technologies: Azure Data Lakes, Azure Data Mesh, Azure Synapse Analytics, the MS Planetary computer, GIS data, IoT data, LiDAR, Azure API Management, Azure Databricks, Azure Data Factory, Azure Active Directory, Azure Maps, Azure Digital Twins, Azure RTOS, Azure IoT Hub, Azure IoT Central, Object Anchors, Azure Remote Rendering, Spatial Anchors, Azure Blob Storage.”
We documented this experiment and posted it here: https://boudinot.medium.com/the-night-we-met-an-ai-fcc1f68b8647
We did not disclose our most promising findings. We’re now seeking partnerships with like-minded organizations who have a deeper understanding of AI who can assist us in developing our platform.
Scaling of impact to SDGs: Please detail how many citizens/communities and/or researchers/businesses this has had or can have a positive impact on, including particular groups where applicable and to what extent.
The WIL is a response to SDG #9, with impacts to the other sixteen SDGs. Past experience working with UNESCO will guide how we scale the impact of our solution.
Ryan Boudinot founded Seattle City of Literature, the organization that secured Seattle’s membership in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Spearheading this project, he collaborated with Seattle municipal government, the US State Department, and members of UNESCO Cities of Literature. In 2014, he represented Seattle as a candidate city at the network’s plenary sessions in Chengdu, China.
The video game industry represents the fastest growing art form on the planet, larger than the film and music industries combined. Writers, visual artists, actors, musicians, designers—artists of every discipline—have a critical role to play in this medium’s development. As professional artists, we understand the creative economies necessary to nurture the unlimited power of humanity’s artistic imagination.
Our project represents an opportunity to merge the efforts of three distinct but interrelated United Nations initiatives: IRCAI, the Creative Cities Network, and the UN Environmental Programme, specifically the UN Playing 4 the Planet Alliance.
We will work with IRCAI to develop our climate emergency AI strategy. With the Creative Cities Network, we’ll develop programs that spark innovation in creative industries and match young artists around the globe with opportunities in the game industry. As a member of the Playing 4 the Planet Alliance, we will share our innovations generously and broadly with industry partners.
All of these activities will be conducted in alignment and support of the UN’s SDGs. We seek to be a force multiplier for the United Nations and stand ready to join the fight to ensure the persistence of life on earth.
Scaling of AI solution: Please detail what proof of concept or implementations can you show now in terms of its efficacy and how the solution can be scaled to provide a global impact ad how realistic that scaling is.
The potential network effect of the WIL is tremendous. Our strategy is to make our platform as widely and inexpensively available as possible, using a freemium model akin to that of Unity Technologies to cover our costs. It would be disingenuous of us to obscenely profit from a platform by which the planet heals itself through video games.
Once we have seeded the market with our platform, we will create our own games based on our original IP, incorporating all we’ve learned from broadly implementing the WIL within the industry. This will be a multi-platform, multi-game content universe with vast time horizons. We envision creating the conditions for the emergence of a multitude of new art forms and genres.
We will nurture a robust community of partner nonprofits and NGOs working on climate solutions in the field, including reforestation, coral reef rehabilitation, and carbon sequestration. These organizations must meet certain criteria regarding the collection, transmission, and security of data. We have established ongoing conversations with groups dedicated to climate action, including ESRI, the Surfrider Foundation, and Flash Forest. We will work closely with UNEP to develop our partner policies.
Our flagship digital goods partner will be the Kering Group, which oversees thirteen global fashion brands including Gucci and Saint Laurent. Our co-founder Floria Sigismondi is currently under contract with the Kering Group as an advertising director, and in fact one of her photographs served as the cover page of Gucci’s recent Sustainability Report.
In short, our strategy to quickly scale our solution is to make it widely available and inexpensive, and work with major industry partners in networks that are already established and recognized by the United Nations.
Ethical aspect: Please detail the way the solution addresses any of the main ethical aspects, including trustworthiness, bias, gender issues, etc.
Art is the arena in which humanity grapples with ethics. Video games are maturing into a rich, narrative artform recognized as a catalyst for change by the UNEP Playing 4 the Planet Alliance. The difference between games and all other art forms is their capacity for player agency. They demonstrate, through gameplay, that decisions have consequences. We believe they are the perfect tools to confront the crisis of environmental racism.
The WIL is cartographic by nature. One of the primary formats of data we use is GIS. GIS data not only helps us identify areas in environmental peril, but includes entire layers of human-built, demographic, and sociological data. For instance, we can determine, using GIS, that a neighborhood that was redlined during Jim Crow is also the part of town where refineries expose people to toxins. It is possible—and, we believe crucial—to confront environmental crises as interdependent with racism and injustice.
Ryan Boudinot was born in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, and moved to the Pacific Northwest when he was a year old. He revisited the Caribbean with his parents for his fortieth birthday, and was shaken to witness the poverty and coral reef devastation on the island of his birth. We see gaming as a technology with wide, diverse, and global appeal that can be harnessed to confront just these sorts of intertwined challenges.
Artificial intelligence, already an integral component of game technology, can inform our ethical strategies by identifying biomes and communities around the world that most need our attention. Using GPT-3 and other AI/ML algorithms, we’ll develop an internal dashboard where we can better direct our strongest efforts toward areas of the planet suffering the most severe symptoms of our climate emergency.