Google Public Alerts Programme is Using AI to Help Prevent Natural Disasters
The advances of Artificial Intelligence (AI) have not stopped in recent years. From experiments as simple as eliminating the noise of an image to the early detection of eye diseases, AI is imposing a great leap in technological advances, so much so that Google is already integrating it into its Google Public Alerts programme to notify users of possible natural disasters.
The programme, which is in the beta stage, is being tested in India. With this, Google seeks the power of AI to detect possible floods and warn people through an emergency alert. In summary, it can serve as advice for risk entities that monitor this type of natural phenomena.
This initiative is part of an alliance with the Central Water Commission of India, and although it is only currently available in the Patna region, it is an unprecedented leap for a country, where these types of disasters have a great impact.
Yossi Matias, the VP of Engineering at Google, said in a blog, “To help improve awareness of impending floods, we’re using AI and significant computational power to create better forecasting models that predict when and where floods will occur, and incorporating that information into Google Public Alerts. A variety of elements—from historical events, to river level readings, to the terrain and elevation of a specific area—feed into our models. From there, we generate maps and run up to hundreds of thousands of simulations in each location. With this information, we’ve created river flood forecasting models that can more accurately predict not only when and where a flood might occur, but the severity of the event as well.”
The first alert was sent this month, and as time goes, it will be put to more use. What is learned by the Google application can also be used in other countries and regions, where natural disasters are more common, so the use of this technology is good news for everyone.
This article was written in Spanish by Stiven Cartagena and translated by Navanwita Bora Sachdev