The world burns or cuts down about 15 billion trees a year through mining, logging, and urban development. However, no nations, organizations, or individuals “have been able to plant enough trees to make up for that loss,” according to National Geographic, which results in not nearly enough trees being seeded to combat deforestation.

With big implications for climate change, an increase in mass deforestation threatens the survival of millions of animal and plant species. But as ecological initiatives push to regrow forests and farms like, technology startups may finally have an answer: drones.

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Autonomous AI and weapons may have a future. Just not together.

As of August 2018, more than 2400 high-impact players in science and technology — from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to late astrophysicist Stephen Hawking — have signed a Lethal Autonomous Weapons Pledge declaring their intentions to halt an autonomous AI arms race before it begins. The historic motion urges governments to consider instituting regulations that preemptively ban, deter, and monitor militarized nations from amassing Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS): a growing classification of automated weaponry, including unmanned drones, fighter jets, and any lethal AI endowed with decisive power over human life.

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