Satellites can be used to map poverty, study shows

Researchers have blended satellite imagery and machine learning to better track poverty in Africa. Credit: Neal Jean et al. 214 SHARES Researchers working at Stanford University’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences have found a way to map poverty in Africa using a combination of satellite data and machine learning, a recent study published in the journal Science reports. Machine learning — a type of artificial intelligence that provides computers with the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed — is commonly used when algorithms have a lot of data to work with. Analyzing impoverished nations tough because there is very little data on worldwide poverty. However, there is a lot of existing data in satellite imagery. The team found a way to blend both processes by looking at artificial light. Lights shining…

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