Artificial Intelligence in Support of Coastal and Ocean Resilience
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Artificial Intelligence in Support of Coastal and Ocean Resilience

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    Coastlines and oceans are facing incredible challenges, from sea level rise to collapsing marine ecosystems (Sweet et al. 2022). To identify ways to enhance our adaptive capacity and climate resilience, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) collects vast amounts of data through various networks, including satellites, aircraft, vessels, and monitoring systems (Figure 1), to provide science and information in support of a climate-smart nation. As NOAA masters big data storage and management, forward-thinking application of advanced forms of big data analytics will extract more value. In particular, implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI), which can provide automated cognitive capabilities across large volumes of data, gives NOAA the ability to apply the next level of analytics to address coastal resilience (i.e., simply storing and managing big data isn't enough for NOAA to get the most value from all that information). The big data analytics associated with AI will profoundly benefit climate analysis and coastal resilience, as large amounts of data are sifted in near real time- if not eventually in real time- thereby providing NOAA and especially its National Ocean Service (NOS) a level of analysis and productivity heretofore unknown to address complex scientific and multifaceted issues and gain actionable insight to support coastal intelligence and resilience.

    Big data provides the raw material from which AI systems can derive insights. Many AI algorithms, most notably neural networks, have been available for decades. AI systems use data-driven algorithms and statistical models to analyze and find patterns in data rather than traditional rules- based approaches that follow explicit instructions. This paper focuses on NOS’ ability to utilize the power of AI by providing some example applications for climate and coastal resilience and identifying directions for future development and implementation of AI to improve NOS’ capabilities to identify and implement actions to address climate change and inform coastal resilience.

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