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Facial Recognition Software Could Save Coral Reefs

Technology By
A healthy coral reef thriving with life. Hard corals, soft corals, Anthias fish and lots of others build up a small ecosystem around scattered underwater mounts. Red Sea, Egypt. (Getty)
A healthy coral reef thriving with life. Hard corals, soft corals, Anthias fish and lots of others build up a small ecosystem around scattered underwater mounts. Red Sea, Egypt. (Getty)

 

Facial recognition software is proving to have an unexpected benefit: it can now measure how bleached coral reefs are. (Bleaching occurs when water is too warm, and coral expels algae; this white coral is far more vulnerable and likely to die.) The technology has given scientists the ability to comprehensively study the health of coral reefs—and potentially save them from extinction.

In 2010, it was reported that coral reefs would be extinct within the next hundred years. This would kill off fish dependent on them and, in turn, trigger massive crises among the hundreds of millions of people who rely on fish for food and their livelihoods.

Watch the video below to learn more about this breakthrough.