Putting out wildfires before it even starts with AI and predictive tech

EY seeks to further its efforts to innovate and use technology to address some of the world’s largest environmental and climate change issues through its 2021 Better Working World Data Challenge.

This year, the challenge will focus on leveraging data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) that could contribute in better managing wildfires.

Open to all university students and non-students alike (with less than two years of professional experience in data science or a related field), the challenge aims to garner participation from people in over 19 countries.

By collaborating with Microsoft, participants will be able to use the Azure cloud platform to gain access to satellite imagery provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Doing so will allow participants to create algorithms to help wildfire management teams improve frontline decision-making during fire emergency responses, which will include capabilities to generate fire-edge maps or predict where the fire may spread.

“Many countries have faced significant loss of life and disruption due to wildfires and we are proud to support efforts that can look to address this issue using the power of data and technology,” said EY global chairman and CEO Carmine Di Sibio.

Adrian Chew

During the three-month competition period, a series of webinars jointly facilitated by technologists from EY and Microsoft will provide participants with additional information about the tasks in the challenge.

A network of wildfire authorities, earth observation groups and science education organisations will also provide support and knowledge so the participants’ work can create maximum impact and change through data, AI and technology.

“As this is the first time the challenge is open to participants in Malaysia, we are very excited to share this unique opportunity and strongly urge our university students and young professionals to seize the chance to participate, learn and collaborate globally to develop transformative AI models,” concludes Ernst & Young Advisory Services Sdn Bhd’s Asean data and analytics leader and partner Adrian Chew.

The winning algorithms will be announced in July 2021 and winners will receive cash prizes. Top performers from Malaysia will also secure paid internship of no less than eight weeks or conditional offer of employment with the EY member firm in Malaysia. – March 19, 2021

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