AI for Coral Reefs: Join Now!

Written by Marcel Kempers and FruitPunch AI
Reef Support Wave

Calling all data scientists, developers and AI enthusiasts to use their skills for ocean impact!

Reef Support Wave

Watch the Info-session here:

Lately, you’ve probably seen the devasting effects of climate change in the news. Reports of floods and forest fires have never been so frequent. Global warming is showing its effect on our planet more than ever before. One of these effects is a little bit less visible because it takes place underwater.

Rising temperatures combined with an increasing concentration of CO2 in the ocean cause the water to be more acidic. This change in temperature and acidity harms animals that build shells, such as corals. Occupying less than 1% of the ocean floor, coral reefs are home to more than 25% of marine life. Apart from the importance of biodiversity, coral reefs provide food, income, and protection for half a billion people on earth. Predictions are that if the ocean’s temperature rises by 2 degrees, the earth will lose all its coral reefs. And we are already at +1 degree!

That’s why we decided to team up with FruitPunch AI, also based in the Netherlands decided to collaborate with ReefSupport to set up a challenge to make a difference!ReefSupport is building a platform through which researchers can automatically analyze their ocean surveys. Coral reef surveyors collect benthic images about their marine ecosystem and must store, process, and eventually share this information. Organizations that do regular surveys of their reef tend to take ~100 pictures per survey. When they return to the office, they analyze the captured photographs to infer the health and growth of their reefs, as well as to count and identify fishes and substrates and other features important for a holistic and thriving marine ecosystem. Post analysis consumes more time than dive: 4 hr dive = 5 days to analysis.

A typical reef analysis follows the following steps:
–      Step 1: Color correction
–      Step 2: Image segmentation of corals (boundary detection)
–      Step 3: Identify the coral cover and length of corals (Ruler detection and measurement)
–     Step 4: Color & bleaching detection

The goal of this challenge is to automate the first 2 steps.

Challenge Details

  • The AI for Coral Reefs challenge concerns: Create an ML model for color correction and image segmentation of coral reefs.

    You will be working on one or several of the following topics in this challenge:

    1. Color correction of each uploaded image
    2. Image segmentation and classification model
    3. Creating a pipeline to automate the entire process (external APIs)

Who we're looking for

  • You can apply at any level of experience above basic (theoretical) coding & data science skills. If you are just starting out with AI development, that is okay, because FruitPunch AI has released an AI Bootcamp! In the selection of the team we look for a combination of rookies looking to learn, hardened professionals and life-long learners switching it up.

    We are looking for:
    AI engineers / data scientists > experience with image segmentation is a pro!

    You can join as a contributor (12 hours per week commitment for 2 months), coach (2-4 hours per week, only for experienced ML professionals) and teacher (give one relevant ML / domain masterclass).

    During the challenge, FruitPunch AI will also arrange for masterclasses on relevant topics like the use of the cloud computation resources Microsoft, IBM & the HPC Lab will be made available.

Important Dates

  • The challenge will run from the 15th of September until the 17th of November, & you will collaborate with a diverse team of over 30 international data specialists and domain experts in subteams, all tackling this problem from different angles.

    Some important dates:

    Info session                               – 14th of September 17:00 CEST
    Application deadline              – 30th of September
    Kickoff date & time                  – 4th of October 19:00 CEST
    Midterm date & time               – 3rd of November 19:00 CEST
    Final presentation date & time    – 1st of December 19:00 CEST


Written by Marcel Kempers, FruitPunch AI - 22/09/2021