AI detects plastic waste in the sea

A new artificial intelligence recognises plastic in the sea from satellite images. This could help to systematically remove plastic waste from the oceans using ships.

Garbage on a beach

The AI model developed by researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and Wageningen University (NL) estimates the probability of the presence of waste for each pixel in satellite images.

The accumulation of waste in the sea is visible on the freely available Sentinel-2 satellite images from the European Space Agency. However, as this involves terabytes of data, this data must be analysed automatically with the help of AI models.

The new AI is more successful than previous models - even in difficult atmospheric conditions with clouds and haze, according to the EPFL. This is particularly important because plastics are often washed into open waters after rain.

Written by: sda

Photos: Pixabay

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