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Google has collaborated with marine biologists to create "Calling in our Corals," an AI-powered, citizen-science platform that allows anyone with an internet connection to contribute to the preservation of coral reefs worldwide, writes Axios.
You can listen for a few seconds, and help identify fish sounds. That will help train the AI to in the future identify the sounds themselves. This will build a library of sounds, that can be played back in the coral reef, which increases activity and the health of the reef.
Coral reefs under threat
Coral reefs are facing multiple challenges, including climate change, pollution, overfishing, and disease. As these delicate ecosystems deteriorate, they become silent, losing their ability to attract marine life and causing a downward spiral.
How "Calling in our Corals" works
Over the past three years, the initiative has installed water-optimized microphones in ten coral reefs across the U.S., Australia, Indonesia, Egypt, Panama, Sweden, and the Philippines, recording sounds of marine life.
These recordings are now part of a gamified platform where users can listen and help identify the sounds they hear.
Listening to biodiversity for coral regrowth
Marine ecologist Mary Oluremi Shodipo explains that a healthy reef has more diverse sounds, attracting juvenile fish and coral larvae to repopulate the area. Research has shown that playing back these sounds in damaged habitats can help regenerate degraded coral ecosystems.
AI and data annotation
Google Arts & Culture's Global Lead for Sustainability, Clare Brooks, states that the next phase involves training an AI model to speed up the review of reef audio.
This will enable scientists to focus on ecology instead of data annotation, ultimately helping monitor and protect coral reefs more effectively.
Saving coral reefs, one click at a time
With coral reefs being one of the most fragile ecosystems on Earth, and half of them already lost, saving these ecosystems is of utmost importance.
By using this innovative platform, hundreds of thousands of people can help preserve the beauty and biodiversity of coral reefs for future generations.
Spend three minutes learning how to identify fish sounds and then help them save coral reefs. It's pretty fun – and meaningful!