Scientists are using machine learning to create new plastics that can decompose more easily in an effort to reduce the amount of plastic waste littering our planet. The process uses artificial intelligence and deep learning to identify polymers that can balance durability with degradability. Where AI plays a significant role is that AI processes information in a fraction of the time that it takes a human. AI enables the ability to process millions of computations quickly so that researchers can then create working models of them to test with. The following article does an excellent job describing exactly how this works

The plethora of plastic pollution plagues the planet. The damaging effects of discarded plastic items can be found in the environment and wildlife. Despite efforts to reduce and recycle waste, the Environmental Protection Agency notes that 75 percent of plastic products found in municipal solid waste isn’t even recycled and instead winds up in landfills.

Scientists at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering hope to combat that problem at the source. Researchers are using machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies to design plastics that decompose easily, with the end goal of reducing pollution.

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