Research Article // Artificial Intelligence in the Water–Energy–Food Model: A Holistic Approach towards Sustainable Development Goals
By Gabriella D’Amore, Assunta Di Vaio, Daniel Balsalobre-Lorente, and Flavio Boccia. Sustainable development (SD) needs to be achieved to harmonize profit, social protection, and environmental respect. In this direction, AI can help businesses, governments, and civil society addresses this challenge, considering all SDGs contemporarily. In line with previous studies, this research confirms that the role of AI in the development of a sustainable business model for the WEF nexus is currently unexplored in the academic literature.
This study aims to analyze the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the Water–Energy–Food (WEF) nexus under the lens of institutional, stakeholder, and innovation theories. Specifically, this study focuses on AI as the technology adopted by companies to promote Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A structured literature review has been conducted on 94 articles published from 1990 to 2021 in ISI Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar. This study develops an in-depth review of the literature on the main articles arguing about these issues. The findings highlight the increasing relevance of AI in the water, energy, and food industries individually considered, but the study of AI as a connector between water, energy, and food to achieve SDGs is still under investigation. Research on AI for WEF nexus management has adopted mostly a technical perspective, neglecting the relevance of management tools and the business model concept. Most of the articles did not adopt a specific theoretical lens, but scholars recognize the need to adopt a multi-stakeholder approach and the important role played by AI and other digital technologies to address the WEF nexus challenge. This study proposes an integrated approach for managing the nexus through AI technologies to meet sustainable and responsible business models. The gap between research and policy making could be filled by combining scientific data and policy needs with inclusive tools that are technically viable for sustainable resource utilization.
D’Amore, G., Di Vaio, A., Balsalobre-Lorente, D., & Boccia, F. (2022). Artificial Intelligence in the Water–Energy–Food Model: A Holistic Approach towards Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainability, 14(2), 867.
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