The joint efforts of Harvard and Google not only saw the creation of a successful aftershock location predicting model, it also resulted in a useful unintended consequence.
Artificial intelligence is increasingly being used to predict everything from crime to the mood of a conversation. Now, a new collaboration has seen the technology used to predict the aftershock locations of an earthquake for up to a year.
Earthquake tracking research is by no means new. Scientists have long been on the hunt for effective ways to forecast the impacts of these devastating events in the hopes of decreasing their reach.
From estimations using the earth’s core to fiber optics powered predictions, there is no shortage of attempts to analyze these seismic occurrences and extrapolate whatever useful data can be found.
Now, a blog released on Google’s site this week reveals a new study that outlines the work of Harvard scientists who joined forces with Google AI experts to build an AI model for predicting an earthquake’s aftershocks for up to a year after its start.
A difficult undertaking
This is no small feat by any means. “Although the timing and size of aftershocks have been understood and explained by established empirical laws, forecasting the locations of these events has proven more challenging,” explained in the blog Harvard post-doctorate fellow and study co-author Phoebe DeVries.