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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
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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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Twitter Announces to Revert its Timeline Into A Pure Chronological Feed

Twitter has updated the "Show the best Tweets first" setting

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Twitter revives pure chronological timeline for over 300 mn users. Pixabay

Giving its over 336 million users more control, Twitter has announced that it will completely revert their timeline into a pure reverse chronological feed.

The micro-blogging platform in 2016 announced that it will only show “most important tweets” and stop the most recent tweets first which irked many users.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Twitter announced that in the coming weeks, it will start testing a “way to switch between a timeline of tweets that are most relevant for you and a timeline of the latest tweets”.

“We’ve learned that when showing the best Tweets first, people find Twitter more relevant and useful. However, we’ve heard feedback from people who, at times, prefer to see the most recent tweets,” said Twitter.

“Our goal with the timeline is to balance showing you the most recent tweets with the best tweets you’re likely to care about, but we don’t always get this balance right,” it added.

TWitter
The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. vOA

This is how it will work.

Flip on the feature in your settings from the iOS or Android Twitter app.

When you open Twitter after being away for a while, the tweets you’re most likely to care about will appear at the top of your timeline — still recent and in reverse chronological order.

The rest of the tweets will be displayed right underneath, also in reverse chronological order, as always.

“At any point, just pull-to-refresh to see all new tweets at the top in the live, up-to-the-second experience you already know and love,” said Twitter.

Twitter
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

“We’re working on making it easier for people to control their Twitter timeline, including providing an easy switch to see the most recent tweets,” said Twitter Product Lead Kayvon Beykpour.

Twitter has updated the “Show the best Tweets first” setting.

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“When off, you’ll only see tweets from people you follow in reverse chronological order. Previously when turned off, you’d also see ‘In case you missed it’ and recommended tweets from people you don’t follow,” it noted. (IANS)