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Natural Awakenings

Faster Rescues: Artificial Intelligence Helps Locate People and Wildlife

Oct 31, 2017 12:55PM

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is helping doctors and scientists worldwide do their jobs better. In wildlife preservation, many researchers want to know how many animals there are and where they live, but Tanya Berger-Wolf, a professor of computer science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, states, “Scientists do not have the capacity to do this, and there are not enough GPS collars or satellite tracks in the world.”

At AI-driven Wildbook.org, photos are uploaded by experts and the public and analyzed for species, age and even gender. One massive Kenyan study in 2015 prompted officials to alter their lion management program.

Also, the locations of stranded victims of floods, earthquakes or other disasters can be determined via computer programmers writing basic algorithms that examine extensive footage. In flooded areas, AI technology can also find debris that harbors trapped people. AI techniques can even monitor social media sites to find out more about missing people and disasters.


This article appears in the November 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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