The Australian Institute of Marine Sciences (AIMS) has partnered with the Australian arm of global integrator Accenture for the rollout of its ReefCloud platform to improve the analysis of coral reefs.
The cloud-based platform, developed by the integrator's Fjord team, will improve the speed of evidence-based management of coral reefs, the organisation said in a statement.
Collaborators and users around the world have access to current reef monitoring information presented through an interactive dashboard. It also provides insights into the impact of environmental disturbances on coral reefs including environmental modelling on the exposure of corals to thermal stress and tropical cyclones.
ReefCloud was developed by AIMS in collaboration with coral reef scientists, conservation practitioners and technology experts across various organisations such as the Queensland University of Technology, the Palau International Coral Reef Center, Wildlife Conservation Society Fiji and other Pacific Island organisations.
“ReefCloud will support a transformation in coral reef monitoring approaches which leads to more timely and informed decision-making on management actions to improve the long-term resilience of our coral reef,” AIMS research team lead and ReefCloud director Dr Manuel Gonzalez Rivero said.
Accenture interactive ANZ boss Mark Green said the company was "incredibly proud to work with AIMS and tap into a diversity of experience in our regional community on this important project".
“Technology and data combined with intelligence and purposeful design helped us bring real value to the table, allowing reef managers to be equipped to address one of the most significant climate change challenges of our time and safeguard the health and prosperity of our region.”
The Ireland-based, multinational IT consultancy and AIMS said the rate of coral reefs degradation often surpasses the speed of knowledge acquisition needed to support evidence-based management.
ReefCloud will allow users to submit images that have been automatically tagged and analysed by the platform’s artificial intelligence engine.
ReefCloud’s automated image analysis currently replicates expert observations with 80-90 percent confidence to produce accurate estimations of coral reef composition 700 times faster than manual assessment.
The data points generated through the AI are further analysed and summarised by statistical models giving users up-to-date snapshots of reef conditions in days rather than months.