Intel’s Project Corail Monitors Coral Reef Health With AI

To commemorate Earth Day, Intel — in partnership with Accenture and Sulubaai Environmental Foundation, a Philippine-based nonprofit dedicated to protecting Palawan’s natural resources — detailed Project Corail, an AI-powered platform that monitors and analyzes the resiliency of coral reefs. From a report: Since its launch in May 2019, it’s collected 40,000 images of the reef surrounding Pangatalan Island, which researchers have leveraged to gauge reef health in real time. If the pilot program in Palawan is successful, Project Corail could be used to monitor more of the world’s at-risk reef population. (Stresses such as pollution, overfishing, and global climate change will kill an estimated 90% of reefs in the next century.) It’s a worthwhile mission considering that reefs not only protect coastlines from tropical storms, but that they provide food and income for 1 billion people, generating $9.6 billion from tourism and recreation alone each year. Project Corail consists of a buoy equipped with marine-grade solar panels, batteries, and a transmitting device (either Wi-Fi or 4G), as well as a camera attached to the mooring line. An Intel Neural Compute Stick 2 plugged into a Raspberry Pi handles on-buoy computing, while an onshore PC processes images with an Intel Arria 10 FPGA.