Using Artificial Intelligence to Identify Humpback Whales

Artificial Intelligence has been used for everything from teaching computers to play chess to helping speed ride-sharing services on thei rway. And now one government agency is using it to track humpback whales in the Pacific.

For more than a decade, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been tracking whales by recording them.

But there are challenges - like the sheer volume of data. Researchers have to sift through years of audio. Literally. Years.

"So far we've collected over 170,000 hours of data. Let's put that in real terms. If you were to sit and listen straight, not sleeping, not eating, taking no breaks, it would take you 19 years to listen to all that data,"  says Ann Allen, a research oceanographer with NOAA's Cetacean Research Program at the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center.

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