For years Google has warned users about pure disasters by incorporating alerts from authorities companies like FEMA into apps like Maps and Search. Now, the corporate is making predictions of its personal. As a part of a partnership with the Central Water Commission of India, Google will now alert users in the nation about impending floods. The service is solely presently out there in the Patna area, with the primary alert going out earlier this month.
The US tech large introduced its partnership with the Central Water Commission again in June. The two organizations agreed to share technical experience and knowledge to work on the predictions, with the Commission calling the collaboration a “milestone in flood management and in mitigating the flood losses.” Such warnings are significantly vital in India, the place 20 p.c of the world’s flood-related fatalities are estimated to happen.
Google already points warnings about pure disasters through its Google Public Alert program. Alerts are layered into apps like Google Search, Maps, and Google Nows. They cowl warnings for occasions like hurricanes and earthquakes issued by authorities companies in a dozen nations, together with the US, Canada, Japan, and Brazil. Google says it’s despatched out “tens of thousands” of public alerts seen greater than 1.5 billion instances. It’s additionally activated SOS Alerts — which point out the next menace degree — greater than 200 instances.
Using synthetic intelligence to higher perceive pure disasters is not a brand new space of analysis in itself. Numerous papers have been printed on the topic, and trials are being run by each cities and corporations like Microsoft and IBM to take a look at and implement such fashions. In some ways, it’s an ideal problem for machine studying. Predicting occasions like earthquakes and floods means sorting by enormous troves of advanced knowledge to uncover beforehand ignored connections. Just the type of factor AI excels at.
For Google, although, this additionally units an fascinating precedent. In its weblog submit saying the characteristic, the corporate framed the work as a pure extension of its mission to “provide people with the information they need.” Warnings about upcoming floods definitely fall into the class of “important information” and so Google desires to present it.
As India’s Central Water Commission makes clear, it partnered with the US tech large as a result of the corporate’s experience in synthetic intelligence means it could actually make higher predictions that the Commission can alone. With Google’s knowledge and AI chops, it’s fascinating to take into consideration what else the corporate would possibly predict that governments can’t.