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Aye, Track that Humpback Whale! An AI Program that will Blow your Mind

This Tech Leader Announced an AI-Driven Program to Track Whale Migration in Japan

Aye, Track that Humpback Whale! An AI Program that will Blow your MindArtificial Intelligence is used “Everywhere” — from rolling out AI bot-surgeons to performing complex surgeries, building driverless vehicle software, and cloning extinct species. The possibilities of using AI in our lives are endless– all it takes is a bit of imagination and tons of genuine effort.

About Humpback Whale [source: NOAA Fisheries]
About Humpback Whale [source: NOAA Fisheries]
Most AI projects would come across as exciting– and we see and review hundreds of them at AiThority.com every week. But, what we found today is truly “mind blowing”, to say the least. This new AI pilot program combines AI technology, whale identification and tracking, tourism, and ecological sustainability. Fujitsu, a leading Japanese technology company, announced a project led by AI image recognition technology, to track humpback whale migration around Hachijo Island. This pilot program will help in establishing the island’s reputation as a “Smart Island” in accordance with the existing “Tokyo Treasure Island Sustainable Island Creation Project.”

Fujitsu will support the project by providing its “Fujitsu Kozuchi” AI model for video data analysis. This AI model supports Sustainability Transformation (SX).

Fujitsu is partnering with Mizuho Financial Group, Inc., Mizuho Bank, Ltd., Mizuho Research & Technologies, Ltd. and Hachijo Town to accomplish this mind-blowing AI project in the Japanese waters. The overall objective of this humpback whale tracking project is to understand their marine movement and how it impacts sustainable tourism for Hachijo Is. The data generated by the AI-powered image recognition software would help in promoting ethical tourism whilst making Hachijo Island “a smart and sustainable island.”

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Why we called this AI project on humpback whale migration tracking, a mind-blowing endeavor? 

It’s likely that you may have heard about “smart cities” and smart workplaces. Yes, they use an integrated network of AI, automated robotic tools, cameras, sensors, computer vision software, connected devices (IoT-based) and big data infrastructure. But, the concept of “Smart Island” development is different from the city-based projects.

How?

The Smart Island project, developed for Hachijo Town (island community) specifically focuses on the island’s coexistence with the natural terrestrial and marine environment. Humpback whales are vital to the island’s environment, as well as cultural sustainability. The focus is on tracking the whales to understand their behavior before and after natural disasters.

Figure 3. This photo was provided by Yosuke Kato of the Laboratory of Cetacean Biology of Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Hachijo Town and Hachijo Island Tourism Association
Figure 3. This photo was provided by Yosuke Kato of the Laboratory of Cetacean Biology of Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Hachijo Town and Hachijo Island Tourism Association

The project combines digital technologies, such as AI and VR, to promote various environment-friendly activities, such as ecotourism, whale watching, disaster prevention and so on. The AI project could also be linked to the island’s growing concerns related to a declining birthrate, aging population, declining tourist footfalls, and increasing risks of natural disasters. AI to track the humpback whales in the Hachijao waters is jointly carried out by Fujitsu, led by MIZUHO Research & Technology in Japan, to make the island a more desirable tourism destination for visitors and residents.

Cameras, Sensors, and AI Data

The project will track the whales from May 2024 to the end of October 2024. Using AI to track humpback whale migration involves data analysis from a cluster of high-tech image recognition technology, which obtains video data from fixed-point cameras installed for disaster prevention purposes. Humpback whale detection data will inform the tourists and residents about the migration course. 

Figure 1. Fixed-point camera installation map
Figure 1. Fixed-point camera installation map

By utilizing Fujitsu’s AI technology and strengthening this project, the precision of ecological surveys that used to be done manually will be improved, contributing to biodiversity conservation, and timely information about the status of humpback whale migration will be provided creating new tourist attractions in harmony with the local natural environment.

Figure 2. Field t**** image (from image gathered by fixed-point cameras to detection)
Figure 2. Field t**** image (from image gathered by fixed-point cameras to detection)

About Fujitsu’s AI Model for Image Recognition and Video Analysis

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What is Fujitsu Kozuchi?

The humpback whale detection project brings the limelight on Fujitsu Kozuchi AI platform. This is a cloud-based SX solution for businesses. Its use in whale detection changes the traditional narrative, bringing it close to the growing demand for use of new-age AI solutions for environment protection and sustainability projects. Kozuchi is an advanced approach to explainable AI (X-AI), designed to infuse generative AI, computer vision and human sensing / causal discovery with “Fujitsu’s world-leading supercomputers and quantum computers.”

Currently, Fujitsu Kozuchi caters to seven AI use cases:

  1. Generative AI
  2. Predictive analytics
  3. AutoML
  4. Text analytics / NLP
  5. Computer vision
  6. AI Trust
  7. X AI

For more information on this AI platform, c*********.

Other Interesting Whale Tracking Projects from Around the World

#1 Using citizen science and AI to track humpback whales

#2 AI-based OCIANA

#3 NatGeo

#4 Deep Learning Finds Animals 

#5 Talk to Whales using AI

#6 A.I. Sorts Public Photos to Show Recovering Pacific Humpback Whales Hit Climate Ceiling

#7 Project HALLO

#8 Project Whale Safe

#9 HappyWhale.com

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[To share your insights with us as part of editorial or sponsored content, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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