It’s no secret that here at IWP, we’re a big fan of AI and all things automation; outsourcing mundane tasks to an algorithm capable of guided decision making that can adapt and improve over time is a powerful business resource, freeing up human workers for more innovative & creative tasks, adding value to and enriching client & user experience. IWP are not alone in pushing the boundaries of this powerful tool; public sector organisations, military and even Governments are waking up to the idea of how AI can not only make life easier, but also safer.
It’s also no secret that global weather has been a bit de-stabilised of late. Freak weather is becoming far more common, culminating in natural disasters far beyond the intensity and frequency we’ve been used to in normal life, putting increased pressure on local emergency services. Rapid response to these disasters needs to be exactly that – rapid. Anything less than that costs lives.
As we’re currently seeing in Hawaii, the lack of warning for both the emergency services and the local population is having devastating effects, with evacuation orders not being given until people are already in the middle of a disaster. Current warning systems are reliant on manual intervention, which introduces margins for error & opportunities for hesitance, whereas an AI based system could feasibly eradicate this. Using AI recognition & based on parameters of certainty, a system could either escalate an alert all the way to mobilisation and evacuation warnings, or prompt the relevant person(s) to do a manual check before escalating manually. Having this system built into public CCTV networks (which exist in high numbers already in most countries) makes this a relatively simple add on.
In fact, such a solution is already being investigated in California who, like Hawaii, experience seasonal wildfires which are peaking in intensity through freak heatwave events, something become far more common globally.
AI is often associated as something to be wary of; it’s the virtual monster that will ‘steal jobs’ or ‘misappropriate data’ – I certainly agree it’s a technology that needs to be managed and implemented in the correct manner. However, it’s potential uses to benefit humanity are irrefutable.