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Abstract

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to embed itself in our daily lives, many focus on the threats it poses to privacy, security, due process, and democracy itself. But beyond these legitimate concerns, AI promises to optimize activities, increase efficiency, and enhance the accuracy and efficacy of the many aspects of society relying on predictions and likelihoods. In short, its most promising applications may come, not from uses affecting civil liberties and the social fabric of our society, but from those particularly complex technical problems lying beyond our ready human capacity. Climate change is one such complex problem, requiring fundamental changes to our transportation, agricultural, building, and energy sectors. This Article argues for the enhanced use of AI to address climate change, using the energy sector to exemplify its potential promise and pitfalls. The Article then analyzes critical policy tradeoffs that may be associated with an increased use of AI and argues for its disciplined use in a way that minimizes its limitations while harnessing its benefits to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

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