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With the aid of Twitter and AI, researchers to develop flood warning system

In a study, published in the journal Computers & Geosciences, the researchers showed how AI can be used to extract data from Twitter and crowdsourced information from mobile phone apps to build up hyper-resolution monitoring of urban flooding.

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AI can play a key role in future flood warning and monitoring systems
AI can play a key role in future flood warning and monitoring systems

London, Dec 26: Researchers are combining Twitter, citizen science and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to develop an early-warning system for flood-prone communities in urban areas.

In a study, published in the journal Computers & Geosciences, the researchers showed how AI can be used to extract data from Twitter and crowdsourced information from mobile phone apps to build up hyper-resolution monitoring of urban flooding.

“By combining social media, citizen science and artificial intelligence in urban flooding research, we hope to generate accurate predictions and provide warnings days in advance,” said Roger Wang from University of Dundee in Britain.

Urban flooding is difficult to monitor due to complexities in data collection and processing.

This prevents detailed risk analysis, flooding control and the validation of numerical models.

The research team set about trying to solve this problem by exploring how the latest AI technology can be used to mine social media and apps for the data that users provide.

They found that social media and crowdsourcing can be used to complement datasets based on traditional remote sensing and witness reports.

Applying these methods in case studies, they found them to be genuinely informative and that AI can play a key role in future flood warning and monitoring systems.

“The present recording systems — remote satellite sensors, a local sensor network, witness statements and insurance reports — all have their disadvantages. Therefore, we were forced to think outside the box and one of the things that occurred to us was how Twitter users provide real-time commentary on floods,” Wang said.

“A tweet can be very informative in terms of flooding data. Key words were our first filter, then we used natural language processing to find out more about severity, location and other information,” Wang said.

The researchers applied computer vision techniques to the data collected from MyCoast, a crowdsourcing app, to automatically identify scenes of flooding from the images that users post.

“We found these big data-based flood monitoring approaches can definitely complement the existing means of data collection and demonstrate great promise for improving monitoring and warnings in future,” Wang said.

Twitter data was streamed over a one-month period in 2015, with the filtering keywords of “flood”, “inundation”, “dam”, “dike”, and “levee”. More than 7,500 tweets were analysed over this time.

“We have reached the point of 70 per cent accuracy and we are using the thousands of images available on MyCoast to further improve this,” Wang said.

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AI Skills Fuel Digital Transformation in India: Microsoft’s President

Nearly eight per cent of GDP components in India are currently impacted by digital technologies and by 2021, 60 per cent of those will be impacted

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The enterprise solutions major has integrated SAP CoPilot with the
"A tectonic shift is happening in AI. Nearly 85 per cent of enterprises globally will use AI in some form or the other by 2020.

In a renewed push for Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge use cases in the country, Microsoft India on Wednesday said there is highest penetration of AI skills among the workforce that will fuel digital transformation in the country sooner than thought.

“A tectonic shift is happening in AI. Nearly 85 per cent of enterprises globally will use AI in some form or the other by 2020. Indian firms are now fast catching up,” Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, told reporters at the company’s flagship Media and Analysts’ Day here.

Nearly eight per cent of GDP components in India are currently impacted by digital technologies and by 2021, 60 per cent of those will be impacted.

“Almost every sector is becoming digital and that transformation is impacting every company in India,” stressed Maheshwari.

Microsoft,

Microsoft currently has 54 Azure Cloud regions — more than AWS and Google combined.

Today, 97 per cent of the top banks, 75 per cent of the top retailers, 81 per cent of the top auto firms, 75 per cent of the top pharma players and 67 per cent of the top healthcare firms are Microsoft’s customers in India.

Wipro, Future Generali, L&T Technology Services and Apollo Hospitals are some of the key customers.

“With over 9,500 partners, nearly 3,000 Cloud partners and 88 own IP-ready partners, we are ready to unlock the full potential of AI, Cloud and data for the Indian firms,” stressed the Microsoft India President.

Over 700 AI-driven enterprises in India today are driving businesses with New Age technologies.

Driven by Intelligent Cloud, Intelligent Edge and spurt of data, AI and its growing use cases are set to change the game.

Also Read: Microsoft to End All Support For ‘Windows 7’ in 2020

Microsoft currently has 54 Azure Cloud regions — more than AWS and Google combined.

“We will continue to work closely with the countries when it comes to data localisation. India already has three Azure regions which shows how serious we are for keeping data within the boundaries,” said Maheshwari. (IANS)