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NOAA Fisheries and the Bureau of Ocean Vitality Administration Launches Crowdsourcing Problem “The place’s Whale-do?” to Observe Endangered Beluga Whales | sUAS Information


NOAA Fisheries and the Bureau of Ocean Vitality Administration (BOEM) right now introduced that they’ve teamed up with DrivenData and HeroX, in collaboration with Wild Me and NASA, to launch the crowdsourcing competitors, The place’s Whale-do?, to assist NOAA Fisheries researchers precisely establish endangered Prepare dinner Inlet beluga whales from photographic photographs. Individuals are competing for a prize purse of $35,000.

Measuring as much as 15 toes and three,500 kilos, beluga whales are extraordinarily sociable mammals that stay all through the Arctic and sub-Arctic areas of the northern hemisphere. The inhabitants of Prepare dinner Inlet beluga whales, the topic of this competitors, started declining within the Nineties from overhunting and are at the moment susceptible to extinction. There are solely 300 surviving Prepare dinner Inlet belugas, and they’re tracked utilizing overhead images from drones and lateral images from ocean vessels.

To assist monitor and shield the whale inhabitants, wildlife researchers visually match these images to present photographs primarily based on whale options equivalent to coloration, distinctive marks and scratches, and dorsal ridge form. Nevertheless, processing and analyzing these images is essentially guide and consumes important time and sources. Scientists are looking for revolutionary strategies utilizing synthetic intelligence (AI) to automate this course of and precisely match the identical particular person whale in several survey photographs.

“Our purpose is to have the ability to analyze our overhead images of Prepare dinner Inlet beluga whales rapidly and precisely to provide annual estimates of abundance and calf manufacturing in a well timed method,” stated Paul Wade, beluga whale researcher, NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Fisheries Science Heart. “This can permit us to observe the inhabitants and attempt to perceive what could also be hindering the restoration of this endangered whale inhabitants.”

“We’re happy to help this vital analysis,” stated Dr. Christina Bonsell, an ecologist in BOEM’s Alaska Regional Workplace. “BOEM’s Environmental Research Program seems to be for revolutionary options to useful resource administration challenges. Leveraging crowdsourcing may help guarantee efficient administration and safety of this critically endangered marine mammal inhabitants.”

“These sorts of open AI challenges channel the efforts of expert consultants and improve the instruments obtainable to our nation’s public companies,” stated Greg Lipstein, Principal at DrivenData. “This resolution can have the quick potential for use for whale picture matching, a vital step within the efficient and well timed conservation of those endangered belugas.”

“Maintaining endangered animals protected is top-of-mind for me, and I’m excited to have the gifted group of HeroX solvers engaged on this vital problem,” stated Kal Okay. Sahota, CEO, HeroX.

The Problem: NOAA Fisheries is on the lookout for an automatic resolution to combine into the prevailing Flukebook platform for Prepare dinner Inlet beluga whales created by Wild Me. Prizes can be awarded primarily based on the accuracy of mannequin matches. Accelerated and scalable matching is vital to efficient measurement, administration, and safety of the Prepare dinner Inlet beluga inhabitants. Machine studying has the potential to expedite the creation and evaluation of huge datasets of photographs.

Eligibility to Compete and Win Prize(s): The prize is open to anybody aged 18 or older taking part as a person or as a group. Particular person opponents and groups might originate from any nation, so long as United States federal sanctions don’t prohibit participation (some restrictions apply). Further eligibility necessities or limits could be discovered within the problem guidelines.

To simply accept the problem, go to https://belugas.drivendata.org/


DrivenData is a social enterprise devoted to bringing the info instruments and strategies which might be reworking trade to the world’s largest challenges. As a part of that work, DrivenData’s competitors platform channels the talents and keenness of knowledge scientists, researchers, and different quantitative consultants to construct options for social good. These on-line machine studying challenges are designed to interact a big knowledgeable group, join members with real-world knowledge issues, and spotlight their greatest options.

See our previous competitions and be taught extra at www.drivendata.org


HeroX is a platform and open market for crowdsourcing innovation and human ingenuity, co-founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur, Christian Cotichini and XPRIZE Founder and Futurist, Peter Diamandis. HeroX gives a turnkey, easy-to-use platform that helps anybody, wherever, to resolve on a regular basis enterprise and world challenges utilizing the facility of the gang. Uniquely positioned because the Social Community for Innovation, HeroX is the one place you possibly can construct, develop and curate your very personal crowd.

Discover the most recent challenges at www.herox.com

ABOUT NOAA FISHERIES, Alaska Fisheries Science Heart

The mission of NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Heart is to supply science and providers in help of productive and sustainable fisheries, restoration and conservation of protected sources, and wholesome ecosystems within the marine waters of Alaska.


BOEM’s mission is to handle growth of U.S. Outer Continental Shelf power and mineral sources in an environmentally and economically accountable means. BOEM develops, funds, and manages rigorous scientific analysis research to tell its coverage choices on offshore power and mineral useful resource growth.



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