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  • When we had our fields,

  • we used to go there

  • and play with our friends.

  • We used to have a lot of fun there.

  • Then the river came and washed everything away.

  • Over the last century, floods have become the most common and deadly natural disaster on the planet.

  • The Ghagra River takes everything.

  • Our village had no warning.

  • It would help if we were notified

  • but we get nothing.

  • Many countries currently lack effective early warning systems and alerts.

  • 20 percent of flood fatalities occur in India.

  • WHEN RIVERS RISE

  • [radio announcer in progress] --see some of the highest rainfalls

  • during the monsoon season.

  • But this year, it has been exceptional.

  • - One of the most important variables during a crisis

  • is reliable information.

  • There's so much work that's already been done,

  • by governments, by the UN and NGOs,

  • and we're trying to learn from that work, build on that,

  • and assist them with their goals.

  • In India, where we're running our first pilot program,

  • the government has thousands of people who are measuring the water level

  • in rivers across India,

  • with what is effectively very long measuring sticks,

  • which are called stream gauges,

  • every hour.

  • Which allows them to know whether the river

  • will overflow and flood.

  • But it doesn't yet allow them to understand

  • exactly what areas are going to be affected.

  • What neighborhoods, or even what villages.

  • We received a warning from the head of the village

  • in the morning, just a few hours before the flood hit.

  • I wish I had known earlier.

  • - The response time is most crucial thing.

  • Reducing the response time always plays a very important and vital role

  • in the whole disaster management framework.

  • Advancement in technology would help us better

  • in spreading this message faster.

  • - Flood forecasting was a very exploratory project.

  • The big technical question was,

  • can we have enough information

  • to try to do forecasting that would be accurate enough

  • to make a difference.

  • Starting with the basic needs for getting information about what's going on,

  • where is it happening,

  • what should I be doing?

  • - To be able to provide a forecast in real time,

  • we rely on the government we're working with.

  • We complement their effort

  • by adding accurate modeling to that process.

  • We start by collecting thousands of satellite images

  • to build a digital model of the terrain.

  • Based on these maps,

  • we generate hundreds of thousands of simulations

  • of how the river could possibly behave.

  • We receive the measurements from the government,

  • and cross those measurements with our simulations.

  • We can then send those forecasts to individuals

  • using Search, Maps, and Android notifications.

  • This is an example of an alert that we can produce.

  • This alert is for Pedana.

  • This alert is actually--has over 90 percent accuracy.

  • The lead time is incredibly important.

  • - Yeah. - Even more than the specifics.

  • - Any information we can give, they will use.

  • - Want to show them the alert?

  • Talking to people who've directly experienced severe floods,

  • and understanding what they really need, is incredibly important

  • for us to know how we can really help.

  • This is an opportunity to collaborate on a global scale.

  • We are in a very exciting time,

  • to use technology to try to make a difference.

  • I can't imagine a greater privilege

  • than to do work we love, which is develop technology,

  • and do it in a way that could actually

  • help people directly in a very profound way.

  • Our hope for the future is to give people

  • a few more days of warning before a flood occurs.

  • And to use AI to scale this, and provide these forecasts

  • anywhere in the world, wherever people need them.

  • The Crisis Response and Research team is exploring ways to use AI to provide earlier warnings

  • for other natural disasters including fires and earthquake aftershocks.

When we had our fields,

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河川が上昇するとき:AIが洪水の予測にどのように役立っているか (When Rivers Rise: How AI is helping predict floods)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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