Microsoft will launch the new Shazam4Nature, an initiative to look after and preserve biodiversity. According to the Microsoft website, they plunged into action following the report by the World Biodiversity Council (IPBES) which reported the deteriorating condition of flora and fauna almost on the verge of extinction. Shazam4Nature was created at the EarthLab by Microsoft Berlin and Fraunhofer Cerri.
Working for AMMOD, Felix Govaers, mathematician and researcher at Fraunhofer FKIE, said,
It´s a great thing but quite time-consuming and expensive. – Felix Govaers
Govaers along with Tobias Ludes, an expert on sustainability, David Gackstetter, environmental engineer, and the data specialist Bülent Caliskan, developed Shazam4Nature which is an acoustic biodiversity monitoring system that captures and records animal sounds through sensitive microphones, and evaluates the acoustic signals using artificial intelligence (AI) in the Azure cloud.
The system can pick up the sounds of insects and the user would get to know an estimate of existing populations. Apart from helping out the researchers and scientists, this system can also be used by agriculture and food industry. Govaers believes that “If companies can prove that they are successfully protecting species, this is also a marketing argument.”
The low-cost acoustic sensors necessary to develop the Ai for Earth Program have already been ordered. Now, they will need to probe deeper into Microsoft’s technology to provide the infrastructure by AI for Earth. The University of Bonn has extended its support to them. If there are no hindrances, Shazam4Nature will be released this year only. Microsoft will be investing $50 million in Ai for Earth over the next five years. If anyone wants to be a part of AI for Earth, they need to apply for the “Grant,” and if they manage to impress the jury with their innovative ideas, they would get financial and technological support to take their research further.