AI for the Global Goals | Google - Rainforest Connection
Learn more about AI for the Global Goals — a new initiative from Google.org to support projects that use AI to accelerate progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals #takeaction #worldstodolist
Rainforests naturally absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, making them a vital component in fighting climate change — but they are under profound threat from illegal logging - which accounts for more than half of logging in rainforests. Bioacoustics, which uses audio-sensing to detect deforestation, offers a strong solution but efforts to use it have been hampered by cost and complexity.
Rainforest Connection (RFCx) develops acoustic monitoring technology that uses AI to protect vulnerable ecosystems by detecting threats like illegal logging in real-time. The solar-powered acoustic devices used for threat detection, called RFCx Guardians, transmit audio to the cloud. Then, AI analyzes and classifies the data collected to detect signals like chainsaws, vehicles and gunshots, that could alert ground partners of potential threats.
At the same time, the devices monitor the biodiversity of a given area to better inform conservation action, tracking the presence of hundreds of species.
RFCx has monitored more than 144,000 hectares of rainforest, in more than 35 protected reserves, across 32 countries to date. Having collected 76 million minutes of audio data, they've identified over 2,700 species around the world. With all of this information, they are helping partners protect rainforests from threats and monitor biodiversity to inform conservation action.