NOAA Fisheries and the Bureau of Ocean Power Administration (BOEM) as we speak introduced that they’ve teamed up with DrivenData and HeroX, in collaboration with Wild Me and NASA, to launch the crowdsourcing competitors, The place’s Whale-do?, to assist NOAA Fisheries researchers precisely determine endangered Cook dinner Inlet beluga whales from photographic photos. Members are competing for a prize purse of $35,000.
Measuring as much as 15 ft and three,500 kilos, beluga whales are extraordinarily sociable mammals that dwell all through the Arctic and sub-Arctic areas of the northern hemisphere. The inhabitants of Cook dinner Inlet beluga whales, the topic of this competitors, started declining within the Nineties from overhunting and are at present vulnerable to extinction. There are solely 300 surviving Cook dinner Inlet belugas, and they’re tracked utilizing overhead images from drones and lateral images from ocean vessels.
To assist monitor and defend the whale inhabitants, wildlife researchers visually match these images to present photos based mostly on whale options similar to coloration, distinctive marks and scratches, and dorsal ridge form. Nevertheless, processing and analyzing these images is essentially guide and consumes important time and assets. Scientists are searching for revolutionary strategies utilizing synthetic intelligence (AI) to automate this course of and precisely match the identical particular person whale in several survey photos.
“Our objective is to have the ability to analyze our overhead images of Cook dinner Inlet beluga whales shortly and precisely to supply annual estimates of abundance and calf manufacturing in a well timed method,” mentioned Paul Wade, beluga whale researcher, NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Fisheries Science Heart. “This may enable us to watch the inhabitants and attempt to perceive what could also be hindering the restoration of this endangered whale inhabitants.”
“We’re happy to help this necessary analysis,” mentioned Dr. Christina Bonsell, an ecologist in BOEM’s Alaska Regional Workplace. “BOEM’s Environmental Research Program seems to be for revolutionary options to useful resource administration challenges. Leveraging crowdsourcing may help guarantee efficient administration and safety of this critically endangered marine mammal inhabitants.”
“These sorts of open AI challenges channel the efforts of expert specialists and improve the instruments out there to our nation’s public companies,” mentioned Greg Lipstein, Principal at DrivenData. “This resolution may have the instant potential for use for whale picture matching, a crucial step within the efficient and well timed conservation of those endangered belugas.”
“Maintaining endangered animals protected is top-of-mind for me, and I’m excited to have the gifted neighborhood of HeroX solvers engaged on this necessary problem,” mentioned Kal Ok. Sahota, CEO, HeroX.
The Problem: NOAA Fisheries is on the lookout for an automatic resolution to combine into the prevailing Flukebook platform for Cook dinner Inlet beluga whales created by Wild Me. Prizes will probably be awarded based mostly on the accuracy of mannequin matches. Accelerated and scalable matching is crucial to efficient measurement, administration, and safety of the Cook dinner Inlet beluga inhabitants. Machine studying has the potential to expedite the creation and evaluation of huge datasets of photos.
Eligibility to Compete and Win Prize(s): The prize is open to anybody aged 18 or older taking part as a person or as a group. Particular person opponents and groups might originate from any nation, so long as United States federal sanctions don’t prohibit participation (some restrictions apply). Extra eligibility necessities or limits will be discovered within the problem guidelines.
To just accept the problem, go to https://belugas.drivendata.org/
DrivenData is a social enterprise devoted to bringing the info instruments and strategies which are remodeling business to the world’s largest challenges. As a part of that work, DrivenData’s competitors platform channels the abilities and fervour of knowledge scientists, researchers, and different quantitative specialists to construct options for social good. These on-line machine studying challenges are designed to interact a big skilled neighborhood, join members with real-world information issues, and spotlight their greatest options.
See our previous competitions and be taught extra at www.drivendata.org.
HeroX is a platform and open market for crowdsourcing innovation and human ingenuity, co-founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur, Christian Cotichini and XPRIZE Founder and Futurist, Peter Diamandis. HeroX affords a turnkey, easy-to-use platform that helps anybody, anyplace, to resolve on a regular basis enterprise and world challenges utilizing the facility of the gang. Uniquely positioned because the Social Community for Innovation, HeroX is the one place you’ll be able to construct, develop and curate your very personal crowd.
Discover the newest challenges at www.herox.com
ABOUT NOAA FISHERIES, Alaska Fisheries Science Heart
The mission of NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Heart is to supply science and providers in help of productive and sustainable fisheries, restoration and conservation of protected assets, and wholesome ecosystems within the marine waters of Alaska.
BOEM’s mission is to handle growth of U.S. Outer Continental Shelf power and mineral assets in an environmentally and economically accountable method. BOEM develops, funds, and manages rigorous scientific analysis research to tell its coverage selections on offshore power and mineral useful resource growth.