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Salesforce sharpens its computer vision teeth on shark-scanning AI

[2019.10.09, Wed 16:05] The California Department of Fish and Wildlife reports that since 1950, there's been at least 158 documented cases where a shark approached a person in the water, 44 of which occurred since 2010. The way McCauley explains it, the bulk of the work was motivated by the unknowns surrounding the uptick in shark sightings, particularly along the Santa Barbara shoreline. Earlier this year, McCauley teamed up with Salesforce chief scientist Richard Socher, San Diego State Associate Professor of Computer Science Xiaobai Liu, and Salesforce Director of Research Michael "MJ" Jones to investigate how AI might be used to detect the presence of sharks in coastal waters. The footage they collected served as a training corpus for SharkEye's underlying AI models, enabling it to differentiate among shark species, non-shark objects, and previously sighted sharks. McCauley envisions AI-powered autonomous drones deployed at every lifeguard tower in Santa Barbara, which would make flights and deliver data not only regarding sharks but other hazards Einstein Vision could be trained to recognize. In the near term, the Salesforce and Benioff Ocean Initiative plans to offer an adapted version of the Salesforce Field Service Lightning mobile app - an app typically used for onsite job management and access to scheduling and knowledge bases - to surf school teachers, marine biologists, and others who'll be able to quickly check how many sharks were spotted at any given time and where. "For us, it was a fantastic opportunity to apply AI to not only capture data of value to shark researchers, but to also be able to try to be helpful to our community by sharing that data."
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