Action Mode: Now, an Artificial Intelligence model for disaster risk prediction

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July 28, 2021 1:31 AM

A model solution has been developed under the Microsoft AI for Humanitarian Action programme to build disaster resilient communities in India

Our partnership with SEEDS is one such effort to bring the power of technologies such as cloud and AI to alleviate the damage by marshalling relief resources more efficiently and effectively.Our partnership with SEEDS is one such effort to bring the power of technologies such as cloud and AI to alleviate the damage by marshalling relief resources more efficiently and effectively. (Representative image)

SEEDS (Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society), in partnership with Microsoft, has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) model by leveraging technology to build disaster resilience among at-risk communities in India. The project has been executed in collaboration with technology partner Gramener and supported under Microsoft’s global programme ‘Artificial Intelligence for Humanitarian Action’.

As part of this initiative, SEEDS, with support from Microsoft’s data science team, built a solution that generates hyper-local risk information to be used for early warnings for impending disasters. The model leverages high-resolution satellite imagery that is interpreted by the system for identifying the most vulnerable houses to recommend immediate and long-term actions to reduce risk. The solution has capabilities to generate targeted advisories to protect vulnerable communities, their valuables, avoid immediate losses, and provide pre-emptive refuge to the people.

SEEDS piloted the AI inundation model to generate cyclone-induced flood risk assessment in coastal cities of India. In 2020, the model was launched and tested live during Cyclone Nivar in Tamil Nadu and Burevi in Kerala, achieving high impact assessment accuracy. More than 90% of houses damaged by the cyclone were detected as houses at high or very high risk. By incorporating attributes unique to each community, such as building materials and topography, SEEDS has created more accurate community-specific models to predict vulnerability to natural disasters, allowing communities to be better prepared and develop custom response plans.

SEEDS, utilising the predictive analytics capabilities of the solution, scaled the model to generate heat wave advisories in 2021, supporting 50,000 at-risk families residing in Delhi and Nagpur by sharing pre-emptive heatwave warnings recommending cost-effective interventions.

Manju Dhasmana, director corporate affairs – CSR/Philanthropies, Microsoft India said, “Disasters disrupt lives at scale —cloud technology aids development of solutions to protect communities against such disasters at scale. Our partnership with SEEDS is one such effort to bring the power of technologies such as cloud and AI to alleviate the damage by marshalling relief resources more efficiently and effectively.”

The AI flood risk prediction model is being deployed at select geographies in Odisha and Maharashtra, to combat challenges of the ongoing monsoon cycle.

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