Saving the whales, with data

Share Google Plus Facial recognition for whales may sound like a terrible elevator pitch, but to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the data scientists at, this was a challenge worth taking on.A group of Polish data scientists and machine learning experts from have been working on an image recognition engine for the endangered North Atlantic Right Whales. Speaking at the Strata+Hadoop conference this week, CTO at Piotr Niedzwiedz told the story of how marine biologist Christin Khan – whose day job is flying over the ocean taking pictures of endangered whales for NOAA – was taking a break one afternoon and logged into Facebook. Here she was asked to identify her friends in photos and thought: “Why couldn’t she do something similar with whales?”…

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