Artificial Intelligence saves lives. That’s not hyperbole, either. Developments in AI and machine learning enable scientists to predict natural disasters.
In a recent post, we explained how machine learning and AI are being used to predict possible malfunctions in machinery.
The same idea applies here – except the technology is being used to analyze and predict geological and atmospheric changes.
Where AI Is Headed
Detecting seismic activity already occurs, but predictive analysis is relatively new.
Japan, which was devastated by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in March of 2011, plans to deploy an AI-based forecasting system this year.
“The existing forecasting system only estimates the maximum height of a tsunami but not its likelihood … and sometimes there are no available measures to prepare for the worst-case scenario,” a spokesman for Tokio Marine & Nichido Risk Consulting recently told The Japan Times.
This new system would allow users to insert their address to instantly view the likelihood of a potentially dangerous tsunami hitting their area.
“With such knowledge it will be easier to make a decision to relocate if the current area is at high risk,” the Tokio Marine & Nichido Risk Consulting spokesman said.
In 2018, Google worked with India’s Central Water Commission to develop a flood-prediction program as part of its Google Public Alerts program. Presently, researchers are using AI to study and predict another potentially devastating type of natural disaster: volcanic eruptions.
Using data from sensors in relevant areas across the ground, the sky, and space, AI-based systems can analyze changes in seismic activity, temperature, and even the shape of ground — all potential indications of a pending eruption.
“The machine can look for the patterns,” Dr. James Reilly, director of the U.S. Geological Survey, which is developing a national volcano early warning system, told The Wall Street Journal.
From there, Dr. Reilly says, the AI system will not only alert the potential activity but also devise emergency strategies to avoid disaster.
While far from refined, this technology represents yet another growing application of AI.
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