Google announces AI-driven flood forecast tool in India and Bangladesh

Google on Tuesday announced that it is expanding its Flood Forecasting Initiativein India as well as Bangladesh which uses AI-driven tools to predict floods.

Google on Tuesday announced that it is expanding its Flood Forecasting Initiative in India as well as Bangladesh which uses AI-driven tools to predict floods. The company claims that the tool helps in predicting when and where the flooding will take place so that the people living in nearby areas and relocate to safer places. Since India is one of the countries affected by massive floods every year, this new initiative by Google can help save more than 200 million people in India.

"In recent months, we've been expanding our forecasting models and services in partnership with the Indian Central Water Commission. In June, just in time for the monsoon season, we reached an important milestone: our systems now extend to the whole of India, with Google technology being used to improve the targeting of every alert the government sends. This means we can help better protect more than 200 million people across more than 250,000 square kilometersmore than 20 times our coverage last year. To date, we've sent out around 30 million notifications to people in flood-affected areas," Yossi Matias, VP Engineering and Crisis Respond Lead, Google.

The tool would not only help 200 million people in India but also 40 million people in Bangladesh, which is another South Asian country where floods occur everywhere. "In addition to expanding in India, we've partnered with the Bangladesh Water Development Board to bring our warnings and services to Bangladesh, which experiences more flooding than any other country in the world. We currently cover more than 40 million people in Bangladesh, and we're working to extend this to the whole country," the blog read.

Google in a survey discovered that 65 percent of people who receive flood warnings before the flooding begins to take action to save themselves and their belongings. It was found out that people moved to safer places and stored their belongings at places where there were fewer chances of flooding.

"We're providing people with information about flood depth: when and how much floodwaters are likely to rise. And in areas where we can produce depth maps throughout the floodplain, we're sharing information about depth in the user's village or area. We've also overhauled the way our alerts look and function to make sure they're useful and accessible for everyone. We now provide the information in different formats, so that people can both read their alerts and see them presented visually; we've added support for Hindi, Bengali, and seven other local languages; we've made the alert more localized and accurate, and we now allow for easy changes to language or location," the Google said.

The search giant said that it will send alerts in Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, and 7 other local languages.