A new attempt to predict earthquakes with the aid of artificial intelligence has raised hopes that the technology could one day be used to limit earthquakes’ impact on lives and economies.
A new attempt to predict earthquakes with the aid of artificial intelligence has raised hopes that the technology could one day be used to limit earthquakes’ impact on lives and economies. Developed by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, the AI algorithm correctly predicted 70% of earthquakes a week before they happened during a seven-month trial in China.
The AI was trained to detect statistical bumps in real-time seismic data that researchers had paired with previous earthquakes. The outcome was a weekly forecast in which the AI successfully predicted 14 earthquakes within about 200 miles of where it estimated they would happen and at almost exactly the calculated strength. It missed one earthquake and gave eight false warnings.
It’s not yet known if the same approach will work at other locations, but the effort is a milestone in research for AI-driven earthquake forecasting.
“Predicting earthquakes is the holy grail,” said Sergey Fomel, a professor in UT’s Bureau of Economic Geology and a member of the research team. “We’re not yet close to making predictions for anywhere in the world, but what we achieved tells us that what we thought was an impossible problem is solvable in principle.”
Read more at: University of Texas at Austin
Damage after a powerful earthquake in New Zealand in 2011. Researchers at UT Austin are working to forecast earthquakes with artificial intelligence. (Photo Credit: Martin Fluff via Flickr)