Friday's Luncheon featured Dr. Kakani Katija, bioengineer and lead researcher of the Bioinspiration Lab at MBARI (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute). Dr. Katija provided a fascinating overview of what artificial intelligence promises for scientists who study the deep ocean and provide data to inform policy about protecting the ocean environment. She explained how the "Blue Economy", an economy based on the sea, such a aquaculture, energy production, and sea-mining, is rapidly advancing and outstripping the ability of policymakers to guide its careful development relative to the environment. The few laboratories in the world who gather data through video of the deep ocean and the ocean floor are drowning in 100s of thousands hours of video production, with no alternative to humans slowly viewing it to process it. Dr. Kaktija's lab is working on Artificial Intelligence tools to automate these processes. She described 3 of these tools, including one, a game called Fathomverse, that will allow science buffs, school kids, video fans and the like to help identify cool sea creatures thereby helping train the AI algorithms. The other tools, fathomnet.org , an image database, and Oceanvision.org (not yet available), are tools for other scientists to share their data and processes.
And best of all, Dr. Katija has become a member of the CVWC, so we can easily track the progress of her work going forward. Please welcome Kakani to our club!