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AI for bee research: we4bee becomes part of the Microsoft ‘AI for Earth’ program

Ingolstadt, June 9, 2019 – The we4bee bee research project, which is supported by the Audi Environmental Foundation, has been included in Microsoft's “AI for Earth” program. we4bee aims to connect intelligent beehives equipped with sensors with the cloud in order to carry out long-term analyses of bee colonies and environmental data, and to investigate the effects of certain influences on bees using data-science methods. As a member of the worldwide “AI for Earth” network, we4bee gains access to current products and services connected with artificial intelligence, and is supported by learning and training programs.



Schools and educational institutions will take care of the bee hives and ensure that they send data continuously. Each bee colony is additionally looked after by a beekeeper. With the we4bee app, participants can track which data is transferred to the cloud. This includes information on temperature, humidity, air pressure, weight, noise and particulate-matter pollution. Every user can use the app to compare his or her hive with others in the cloud. Gamification tools encourage more interaction. For example, an AI-supported flower scanner allows participants to take photos of flowers and then displays which flower they are.



Under the “AI for Good” motto, Microsoft supports organizations and projects that promote issues such as human rights, accessibility, and environmental protection. The Microsoft “AI for Earth” program helps researchers and organizations to use artificial intelligence to develop new approaches for the protection of water, agriculture, biodiversity and climate. The initiative aims to solve the great challenges facing humanity with the help of artificial intelligence.



“We are proud that we4bee is one of the 298 projects supported by ‘AI for Earth’ and are delighted to have Microsoft as a valuable supporter,” says Rüdiger Recknagel, Head of the Audi Environmental Foundation. Christine Haupt, General Manager Microsoft Services of Microsoft Germany, says: “For Microsoft, it is a duty and obligation to make technology usable by all and to apply it responsibly. Artificial intelligence can be an important building block for a better future. We are very pleased that with we4bee, we are supporting a project from Germany that uses technology to offer important research findings for the protection of bees.”