Every April 22nd, stakeholders of all backgrounds come together to advance sustainability and climate action in commemoration of Earth Day. Our world needs transformation and we can apply artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to social, humanitarian and environmental challenges. This time we want to share with you examples of these transformations.

AI Protects Manatees

Manatees are aquatic mammals that belong to a group of animals called Sirenia. They have an array of wonderfully characteristics: they are related to elephants and when constipated they can be stuck floating.

While sea cows -the adorable name by which they are also known- do not have any true natural predators, they are endangered or at a heightened risk of extinction due to loss of habitat and collisions with boats and ships. 

Efforts to conserve these docile beings are underway. However, they are hard to keep track of and keeping accurate data on their population is critical for the conservation efforts.

Researchers from the Murdoch University –Amanda HodgsonChristophe Cleguer and Julian Tyne– are helping to change this by using drones to take aerial photography’s of the manatee’s habitats.

To increase the impact of their project, they teamed up with Professor Frederic Maire from the Queensland University of Technology to create the Dugong Detector: a TensorFlow based software that uses artificial intelligence to find manatees in the images captured by the drones. In addition, with the help of Professor Martin Wieser from the Technischen Universität Wien, they integrated a mapping tool that produces a map of all the sea cows, seagrass and other environmental features.

The Dugong Detector is a great example of how high-tech innovations can bring an ecosystem monitoring solution.

AI to the Rescue

Preserving Cassava Crops

Cassava, a woody shrub of the spurge family, is tolerant to droughts and capable of growing with minimal soil. However, it is susceptible to many diseases and pests. The symptoms of a diseased plant develops slowly, so it can be difficult to diagnose these problems in time.

Using machine learning, PlantVillage developed an application that helps African farmers identify and manage these diseases: Nuru -Swahili for light-.

Nuru -which works without an internet connection- has three components to its artificial intelligence:

  • Human expert level crop disease diagnostics using computer vision.
  • Anomaly detection and forecasting based on ground and satellite derived data.
  • Human language comprehension and automated responses to questions posed by farmers.

Researchers at Penn State, annotated thousands of cassava images, identifying and classifying diseases to train a machine-learning model using TensorFlow. Once the model was trained to identify diseases, it was deployed in the app. Farmers can wave their phone in front of a cassava leaf and if it has a disease, the app can identify it and give options on the best ways to manage it.

PlantVillage is providing solutions to farmers by leveraging advances in AI and mobile devices. They do not think technology alone is the solution, but they believe it has the potential to help.

AI to the Rescue

As you can see, AI can provide new ways of approaching problems and meaningfully improve people’s lives. With AI, we have another tool to explore and address hard, unanswered questions.

If want to discover the power of AI, visit our website and explore our cutting-edge services: We offer solutions that can help you streamline your business operations and boost your productivity. Join us in the AI revolution today!

PS. If you would like to read more articles written by our Team Members, we invite you to visit our Blog😉

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