Google is asking users to help scientists protect coral reefs

Coral reefs are among the most fragile ecosystems in the world and are rapidly dying as a result of the climate crisis. What if we all made sure we could bring damaged coral reefs back to life?

The solution is sound
Google Arts & Culture will collaborate with marine biologists on coral reef conservation. The project is called “Calling in our Corals” and is a global AI-driven crowdsourcing search based on voice.

Google has placed water cubes in 10 coral reefs around the world – including Belgium, Sweden, Australia, Indonesia, Panama and the Philippines. These hydrophones record the sounds of marine life both in protected fishing areas and in areas where fishing is permitted. Research has shown that ocean noise is vital to the growth of young coral reefs. Healthy reefs are surprisingly noisy places, but when they become damaged or overfished they become quiet due to the lack of marine life. These months of recordings need to be investigated and help is needed. By calling our coral reefs anyone in the world can contribute to preserving coral reefs.

How does the platform work?
We invite everyone to listen to and analyze short clips of hundreds of sound clips from various corals. Anyone can become a scientist on the online platform: citizen scientists who help identify all the fish sounds in the audio recordings. Calling participants into our chorals to become familiar with the sounds of fish, followed by hands-on exercises where they put their new skills to the test. Next, you are supposed to listen to recordings of corals for 30 seconds and clicking when you hear a fish.

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From citizen scientists to AI models
Identifying fish sounds helps scientists build a data set that is used to train a unique, specialized, bio-sounding AI model. This AI model then helps them get more information about the entire coral reef ecosystem, helping them to monitor it and take action when needed.

This article is a submission and is not the responsibility of the editors.

Winton Frazier

 "Amateur web lover. Incurable travel nerd. Beer evangelist. Thinker. Internet expert. Explorer. Gamer."

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