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NASA makes a video game to save the coral reef

NASA Nemo-Net

NASA creates Nemo-Net, a video game for tablets where players help NASA classify corals and other seabed animals around the world.

NASA has created a video game to save the coral reefs, not only astronauts and space: NASA is also concerned about the Earth as shown by a recent project that will make especially video game enthusiasts happy.

The American space agency has launched Nemo-Net, a game for tablets whose purpose is to classify the elements of coral reefs. These ecosystems of corals and polyps are found in the seabed all over the world and, due to global warming, have suffered considerable damage in recent times. For example, the Great Barrier Reef located in Australia is suffering from a bleaching process that has already affected various parts of it. In order to safeguard these natural habitats, NASA launched itself into the world of video games.

NASA Nemo-Net

How to play NASA's Nemo-Net video game

For now only available for iOS operating systems and therefore usable on iPad and other Apple devices, Nemo-Net is based on users' memory capacities. The simple and colorful graphics make it a video game suitable for children, but anyone can test themselves.

The final goal is to identify and color the various living beings present on the ocean floor. In case of correct choice, the difficulty increases and also the support given to NASA. In fact, the data entered by the players is collected by the space agency and transmitted to an artificial intelligence program that uses them to map coral reefs, or to recognize which plants and animals it is.

The information is sent to our multimodal observation network for the global assessment of the coral reef. Nemo-Net an open source neural network that uses the Pleiades supercomputer to use game data and evaluate the health of coral reefs all over the world, explains the NASA website. The remote detection notifications produced by the players, combined with the satellite scans, are used to determine the composition of coral reefs globally and intervene where necessary.

Artificial intelligence in the service of NASA

NASA Nemo-Net

The videogame uses photographs of NASA's imaging equipment obtained through drones and planes. Special cameras compensate for the optical distortions created by water waves on coral reefs, creating a sharp image destined to become one of Nemo-Net's levels. The more people play, the more help the American supercomputer's neural network will be.

In some time Pleiades should be able to order the photos by himself, without the need for human assistance. A clear step forward, given that the current ratings on the classification of coral reefs based exclusively on satellite data can have segmentation errors greater than 40% and are able to detect changes only on annual time scales. We significantly hamper our understanding of processes in marine biodiversity, especially at a time when these habitats are experiencing unprecedented negative pressures due to climate change

The tech world against global warming

As threatened ecosystems, it is important for scientists to gain a deeper understanding of coral reefs. By creating a map of the latter, it is hoped that researchers will be able to find a way to preserve them, despite the damage caused by rising temperatures and pollution. Children and adults can now help by playing Nemo-Net, which after landing on Mac will arrive on Android in the future as explained by NASA.