NASA launches video game to map coral reefs

NASA has just launched an underwater exploration video game to help scientists preserve coral reefs. Players will have to spot and classify the corals on 3D images. The results will be used as training data for artificial intelligence to track changes in coral reefs.

The coral reefs are threatened by climate change , and NASA hopes to help save them. To do this, it is necessary to better understand these ecosystems which are home to many forms of life. The American space agency has developed a video game called NeMO-Net that will map the seabed. The results will be used to train artificial intelligence to identify corals in order to track changes in coral reefs and find solutions.

The game is based on images obtained by a new photographic technique developed by the American space agency. This uses complex calculations to compensate for the optical distortions created by the water covering the coral reefs . NASA then used cameras mounted on drones or planes to collect 3D images of the seabed, including not only coral reefs, but also seaweed and seagrass.

AI to automatically identify corals

NeMO-Net invites players on a virtual expedition to the seabed to locate and identify the corals . They will be able to learn to recognize the different types of coral thanks to a Nasa database , and obtain trophies as they progress. Their actions will help create a world map of coral reefs.

This manual classification of corals will serve as training data for the Pleiades supercomputer . Using machine learning ( machine learning ), artificial intelligence will eventually recognize and classify corals without the help of the players. NeMO-Net is already available on iOS and Mac devices , and an Android version is in preparation.