G-WADI’s iRain app was featured at a session devoted to “Science and Society” on 5 March, 2019 as part of Mobile Learning Week at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The overall focus of the week was on Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Development.
As described by UNESCO, their “Natural Sciences Sector joined with the Social and Human Sciences Sector to examine the implications for society of modern applications (apps) that incorporate artificial intelligence to improve environmental monitoring. The 90-minute session asked whether apps designed for environmental monitoring were fostering citizen scientists or whether they should be considered just another consumer product”.
The director of G-WADI’s Global Technical Secretariat ICIWaRM, Dr. Will Logan, primarily presented on iRain—a free app from the Center for Hydrometeorology & Remote Sensing (CHRS) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). iRain provides is a real-time, global, 4 km-resolution precipitation product that transforms remotely sensed data through artificial neural networks (i.e., artificial intelligence). It is used by meteorological services, wildlife parks, ecolodges, and many others to anticipate, monitor and evaluate the effects of water-related hazards such as flooding, droughts and storms.
Other G-WADI products such as RainSphere, which shows rainfall trends globally over the last 30+ years, and the African and Latin American Drought Monitors of Princeton University were also described at the session. More information on the session is available at https://en.unesco.org/news/experts-debate-whether-environmental-apps-are-fostering-citizen-science.