Skip to Content

Love the Ocean – fighting climate change with undersea intelligence

Zhiwei Jiang

Hidden deep on the seafloor, you might not expect to find a multi-cable universe, streaming vast amounts of data.

But unlike the sea life calmly gliding by sensor nodes, on the surface sits an army of scientists busily listening and learning, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

From the songs of humpback whales and migrating shoals of fish, to changing currents and oceanographic features, researchers at the Lofoten-Vesterålen (LoVe) Ocean Observatory are carefully monitoring this data for clues on the changing global climate.

With a continuous stream of unique inputs, the LoVe team has collected over 100TB of sensor data in the last decade. However, as the volume of this data continued to grow, it became harder for researchers to manually inspect and evaluate it.

New automated methods were therefore urgently needed to help the research community perform these tasks and unlock the full potential of data created by the observatory.

Enter the Capgemini data rock stars

Channeling innovation to get the future we want

This year’s Capgemini Global Data Science Challenge – the GDSC#4 Love the Ocean, marks yet another edition of our companywide hackathon – drawing on our purpose to ensure a sustainable future for the planet through our skills, technology, and the drive of more than 300,000 talented employees around the world.

Last year, participants harnessed the power to identify sperm whales, supporting Lisa Steiner in the Azores to monitor migration patterns and protect the whales’ natural habitats.

I’m thrilled that this year has attracted even more talented employees – nearly 1,200 in total –creating 673 teams that entered the competition with the aim of developing a concept AI solution to help the LoVe team review and analyze their data more efficiently.

We provided employees with the tools to learn about the technology for sensor analytics on a major cloud data platform, AWS (Amazon Web Services), and put this into practice with data provided by the LoVe team. Throughout the process, participants gained insights into how to process data collection under extreme circumstances, how to analyze a vast array of time-series data, and how the patterns of bio-marine migration interact with various features of marine life.

The winning solutions – from two separate teams, one from India and the other from the UK – centered on automatically extracting important features in the data sets. Thanks to their work, the LoVe team was able to gain new insights in several areas which they are now exploring further, such as whale vocalization, tidal features, and the strong influence of weather on the distribution of individual organisms.

Data sharing for sustainable ocean research

For the LoVe team, the next step is to deploy and test the methods proposed by the winning teams on the Ocean Observatory servers to gather further evidence.

But the work doesn’t stop there. The results of this challenge and method of analyzing ocean data will make data more accessible for users and researchers around the world, through LoVe’s ties to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development – a global initiative that will help us get the science we need for the ocean we want.

Finding innovative ways to collect and share data to support sustainable ocean management is a key objective of this initiative. The work of our employees and the LoVe team shows the world how it can be done.

We have to be very serious about the UN’s goals – it is our collective responsibility to protect our oceans. Here, ocean data and ocean data sharing are critical if we are to understand the full picture of our environment. Therefore, my pledge as a leader in AI & Data, is to act now!

Through powerful collaborations such as this, combined with our skills in AI & Data, I strongly believe we can make a meaningful, measurable impact in fighting climate change. This is a big challenge, but one we can rise to. And the results of this year’s challenge only inspire me to do more.

As we dive deeper into new research methods and expand our understanding of the ocean, I truly believe that we can work together to get the future we want – for our people, our society, and our planet.

#AI4sustainability #AI4planet #LoveTheOcean #COP26