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  • Mal McCallion

A Giant Leap for AI in Climate Science

Updated: Dec 11, 2023


Space news, now - it's about time.


IBM and Hugging Face have teamed up to bring a groundbreaking open-source AI platform to the world of climate science. And this isn't just any AI; it's built from NASA's satellite data.


This dynamic duo has made IBM's geospatial foundation model, watsonx.ai, openly available, creating the largest geospatial foundation model on the platform. What's more, it's the first-ever open-source AI foundation model built in collaboration with NASA.


Why is this a big deal, you ask? Well, using the latest information is a significant challenge in climate science. Despite the data avalanche - NASA estimates scientists will have a whopping 250,000 terabytes of data from new missions by 2024 - researchers still grapple with analysing these colossal datasets.


Enter IBM and Hugging Face. By making a geospatial foundation model available on Hugging Face, they're paving the way to democratise access and application of AI. This means we can anticipate a wave of new innovations in climate and Earth science.


The model, trained on Harmonized Landsat Sentinel-2 satellite data, has already shown a 15% improvement over state-of-the-art techniques using half as much labelled data. With fine-tuning, it can be redeployed for tasks like tracking deforestation, predicting crop yields, or detecting and monitoring greenhouse gases.


So, what does this mean for you, the estate agents of the UK? As this technology advances, it could revolutionise the way we understand and predict environmental changes, impacting everything from property prices to planning permissions.


In the words of Kevin Murphy, Chief Science Data Officer at NASA, "We believe that foundation models have the potential to change the way observational data is analysed and help us to better understand our planet."


So, let's raise a glass to IBM, Hugging Face, and NASA for taking a giant leap for open-source AI in climate science. The future is looking brighter (and smarter) already!



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