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How Microsoft AI is helping Indian slums battling heatwave

How Microsoft AI is helping Indian slums battling heatwave

microsoft Chairman and Vice Chairman brad smith visited on thursday seedis a nonprofit disaster response and preparedness organization that deploys artificial intelligence (AI) to predict the effects of multiple hazards such as cyclones, earthquakes, and heatwaves in a given area.

of IndiaThe impact is being felt more severely in the country’s slums, where temperatures can be as much as six degrees Celsius higher than in other parts of the city, researchers say.

“In the slums it is very difficult to go out and find shade on hot summer days. It heats up much faster,” he said. Anzhou Sharmaco-founder of SEEDS.

Since 2017, SEEDS has been working with communities most vulnerable to heatwaves to help people come up with solutions to beat the heat.

Now, with Microsoft’s AI support, humanitarian action With the grant, SEEDS developed an AI model that predicts the effects of multiple hazards.

The model, called Sunny Lives, generated heatwave risk information for about 125,000 New Delhi slum dwellers, Nagpur.

Experts say such heat waves are likely to continue. According to a study published in Weather and extreme climate According to last year’s journal, India experienced more than twice as many heat waves between 2000 and 2019 as it did between 1980 and 1999.

The “Sunny Lives” AI model was developed in Microsoft’s AI for Good Lab and supported by a grant from the AI ​​for Humanitarian Action program.

Joint development of a risk pipeline using AI models with a data science company Gramenor Provides risk maps for specific regions.

On the map, each building is color-coded according to its ‘risk score’.

Building density, vegetation, building proximity to water bodies, roof type classification: These are some of the key parameters that make up the matrix that SEEDS uses to calculate risk scores.

Rooftop materials, with their associated heat absorption capacity, are an important data point. Buildings are identified, classified and mapped based on this capability.

The risk map can be displayed overlaid on the normal map on the smartphone, which is convenient when volunteers go out to the site. Maps help you keep track of different action points. Where you have to go to get a warning, where water shortages can be a problem, where local governments need to direct resources, and so on.

Over the last few years, SEEDS has reached out to 23 slum communities in East Delhi with this approach.

The organization is now working with various state governments in India to extend its model to the middle and upper income brackets.

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