Madrid, 30 (European press)
In a new study published in Ecological Indicators, scientists trained a computer algorithm using multiple recordings of healthy and degraded corals, allowing the machine to tell the difference.
The computer then analyzed a large number of new recordings and successfully determined the health of the corals 92% of the time. The team used this to track the progress of coral reef restoration projects.
Lead author, doctoral candidate Ben Williams (UCL Center for Biodiversity and Environmental Research), who began the study while at the University of Exeter, said in a statement that “coral reefs face multiple threats, including climate change, so monitoring your health and the success of conservation projects is key. is vital.
“A major difficulty is that visual and acoustic reef surveys often rely on labor-intensive methods. Visual surveys are also limited by the fact that many reef organisms hide or are active during the night, while the complexity of reef sounds has made it difficult to determine the health of the reefs. of individual recordings.
“Our approach to this problem has been to use machine learning, to see if a computer can learn a reef song. Our findings show that a computer can detect patterns that cannot be detected in the human ear. It can tell us faster and more accurately how there are corals .
Fish and other creatures that live in coral reefs make a wide range of sounds. The meaning of many of these calls is still unknown, but a new AI method can distinguish between the public sounds of healthy and unhealthy corals.
The recordings used in the study were taken by the Mars Coral Reef Restoration Project, which works to restore severely damaged coral reefs in Indonesia.
Co-author Dr Tim Lamont from Lancaster University said the AI approach creates great opportunities to improve coral reef monitoring. “This is a really exciting development,” said Dr. Lamont. “Voice recorders and artificial intelligence can be used around the world to monitor the health of coral reefs and see if attempts to protect and restore them are working.”
“In many cases, it is easier and cheaper to spread an underwater aquarium onto a reef and leave it there than to have expert divers visit the reef over and over to check it out, especially in remote locations.”
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