Oct 12, 2019 - Technology

Artificial intelligence helps track sharks in the ocean

A computer vision system identifies a great white shark

A computer vision system identifies a great white shark. Video courtesy Salesforce.

Turn AI cameras on your employees and you can measure their productivity. Fly them over the Pacific Ocean and you've got yourself an automated shark-warning system.

What's happening: UC Santa Barbara, with the help of a few AI experts from Salesforce, is using drones to monitor sharks near California beaches in real time.

  • UCSB pilots fly the drones over coastal waters, and the downward-facing cameras feed into software that can recognize sharks in the water.
  • The system — trained, of course, on a large number of aerial shark photos — can differentiate species, and even between sharks of the same type, so that it doesn't double-count Jaws.
  • The shark census is accessible by app, so lifeguards and surf instructors know what's in the water on any given day.

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