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AI can search satellite data to find plastic floating in the sea


Scientist

AI can search satellite data to find plastic floating in the sea

By Donna Lu After flooding, plastics and debris covered the waters of Durban harbour in April 2019Grant Blakeway/Lauren Biermann et al.With help from artificial intelligence, we can now detect patches of floating marine plastic from satellite data. The technique may eventually help environmental researchers better monitor and manage plastic waste in the ocean. Lauren Biermann…

AI can search satellite data to find plastic floating in the sea

By Donna Lu

New Scientist Default Image

After flooding, plastics and debris covered the waters of Durban harbour in April 2019

Grant Blakeway/Lauren Biermann et al.

With help from artificial intelligence, we can now detect patches of floating marine plastic from satellite data. The technique may eventually help environmental researchers better monitor and manage plastic waste in the ocean.

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Lauren Biermann at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the UK, and her colleagues have devised an AI capable of identifying sea plastic in imagery taken at varying wavelengths of light. They trained it with images from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2 satellites, which record visual information at multiple wavelengths …

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