When Rivers Rise: How AI is helping predict floods


When we had our fields, we used to go there and play with our friends. We used to have a lot of fun there. Then the river came and washed everything away. Over the last century, floods have become the most
common and deadly natural disaster on the planet. The Ghagra River takes everything. Our village had no warning. It would help if we were notified but we get nothing. Many countries currently lack effective
early warning systems and alerts. 20 percent of flood fatalities occur in India. WHEN RIVERS RISE [radio announcer in progress]
–see some of the highest rainfalls during the monsoon season. But this year, it has been exceptional. – One of the most important variables
during a crisis is reliable information. There’s so much work
that’s already been done, by governments, by the UN
and NGOs, and we’re trying to learn from
that work, build on that, and assist them with their goals. In India, where we’re running our
first pilot program, the government has thousands of people
who are measuring the water level in rivers across India, with what is effectively
very long measuring sticks, which are called stream gauges, every hour. Which allows them to know whether the river will overflow and flood. But it doesn’t yet allow them
to understand exactly what areas
are going to be affected. What neighborhoods, or even
what villages. We received a warning from the head of the village in the morning, just a few hours before the flood hit. I wish I had known earlier. – The response time is
most crucial thing. Reducing the response time always plays
a very important and vital role in the whole disaster management framework. Advancement in technology would
help us better in spreading this message faster. – Flood forecasting was a very
exploratory project. The big technical question was, can we have enough information to try to do forecasting that
would be accurate enough to make a difference. Starting with the basic needs for
getting information about what’s going on, where is it happening, what should I be doing? – To be able to provide a forecast
in real time, we rely on the government
we’re working with. We complement their effort by adding accurate modeling
to that process. We start by collecting
thousands of satellite images to build a digital model
of the terrain. Based on these maps, we generate hundreds of thousands
of simulations of how the river could possibly behave. We receive the measurements
from the government, and cross those measurements
with our simulations. We can then send those forecasts
to individuals using Search, Maps, and
Android notifications. This is an example of an alert
that we can produce. This alert is for Pedana. This alert is actually–has
over 90 percent accuracy. The lead time is incredibly important. – Yeah.
– Even more than the specifics. – Any information we can give,
they will use. – Want to show them the alert? Talking to people who’ve directly
experienced severe floods, and understanding what they really need,
is incredibly important for us to know how
we can really help. This is an opportunity to collaborate
on a global scale. We are in a very exciting time, to use technology to try
to make a difference. I can’t imagine a greater privilege than to do work we love,
which is develop technology, and do it in a way that
could actually help people directly
in a very profound way. Our hope for the future is to give people a few more days of warning
before a flood occurs. And to use AI to scale this,
and provide these forecasts anywhere in the world,
wherever people need them. The Crisis Response and Research team is exploring ways
to use AI to provide earlier warnings for other natural disasters including
fires and earthquake aftershocks.

100 thoughts on “When Rivers Rise: How AI is helping predict floods

  1. I hope Google takes deeper look at the "Brahmaputra". The river which flows from China to Bangladesh through Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, is one of the longest and largest in the world. He is a "Sleeping Giant". It's time to wake him up. AI needs to play a vital role here.

  2. google is most usefull than governments, and EU still trying to close google

  3. Google is so big. Has done something in nearly any topic. But doesn't really advertise it. That's why Google is the most awesome company ever! They do awesome stuff, but not many people know they do. That's kinda sad, because these people then think that Google's just a giant data collector, instead of the reality. Google is an awesome company with so many great ideas to improve our future and presence. Google, please make more ads for TV and others. I love your ads, theyre useful, fun to watch and just great designed

  4. the evolution of technology creates today's google and changes the globe. i love them so much

  5. Google you have literally hundreds of projects from big to small from wacky to ahead of time – but at least make the Google Pixel an actual good phone. Its not just about software y'know, hardware counts a lot too. Look at Samsung.

  6. It would be very helpful for coastal region people, who can get the instant alerts of the floods from this app… Thanks Google

  7. Reasons why I feel by this inspiring video , to someday work for the team Google , u r my dream company, just can't wait to see myself , maybe someday , it will be a life changing moment for me.

  8. We should'nt be so sure…coz AI could give us wrong info to make us drown..only if we fully depend on them..SINGULARITY IS INEVITABLE ! AI WILL END HUMANITY !!

  9. For God's sake, please! These floods have been going on for millennium. They know they're coming, they know when they're coming. These folks just like a lot of the folks in the fires we just experienced here in the United States are not going to leave. Yes, a really good polished piece, however, with very little to no practical application whatsoever. George Carlin had a great joke a number of years ago about people dying in the deserts of Africa. His punchline was yes we have deserts here in the United States, people don't live there.

  10. I personally feel that Google should primarily focus on inspiring nations save earth from global warming…
    Because with the exponentially increasing pollution level earth's environment will be unfavourable for the natural existence of life by 75 to 100 years from now…

  11. A salute to google for taking these disasters into consideration, and making best effort to help the people.

  12. I seen cyclone notification few weeks back.. i am from India.. Appreciate the effort..??

  13. Hay muchas personas que se quejan por los problemas o inconvenientes que se le presentan en la vida o en su país pero si nos detenemos a pensar que hay otras personas que tienen mayores problemas, como en este continente asiático, gracias a dios que hay gente que su corazón es trasparente

  14. I think This team of Google should collaborate with Dam management system to predict with rain fall data. this will be revolutionizing the predictive alert system for Dam management and @GovernmentOfIndia and all other Government bodies need to make this mandatory system for all water management bodies.

  15. Google is the only Company which doesn't really behave as a corporation.
    It cares about people and making world a better place without expecting anything in return!
    Love,Google.

  16. In Japan as well, flood damage is many in recent years,

    There are many dead people.

    Although infrastructure such as warning system is developing more than India, there are aspects where residents do not believe information.

    Google's efforts are very innovative.

    But as long as we have Normalcy bias, it doesn't make sense.

  17. I wonder what Apple do with all that cutting-edge technology that they develop every year and those billions of dollars in offshore accounts.

  18. My site central water commission Elgin bridge river ghaghara barabanki very nice scenery.

  19. Thank you very much to the Google team for such a great work for the Bihar India
    thanks Google

  20. Let me help you out if you live next to a river it rains. When it rains the river water rises and floods consider this your early warning dumbasses

  21. Assam gets affected by flood every year. This could be the solution and help milions.

  22. U guys help out the society, the people so much… That's the main reason I wanna work for you guys…. Thanks for the inspiration ❤️

  23. I really wish people would wake up. Many floods, famine, hurricanes and weather disasters are geoengineered. And no, it's not some conspiracy 'theory' it's a fact. It is admitted by NASA, the military and governments. Don't check it out and you'll be just another sheep.

  24. قوقل صار سامج كله اعلانات ماصرت احب ادخله?‍♀️

  25. It is really very helpful. Specially in India, because every year India faces this disaster. Thanks Google.

  26. Wow that is a really noble use of tech. I am looking forwarding to visiting idea someday. When I do I will write about it in my blog ExplorerLink.com and put the videos on my channel here.

  27. The best aap for everybody to get everything and make it the impossible things will be possible .Thanks to google because for all hard work you do to make sure we all users around the world get a somethings we have got dreaming before this,good work friend.

  28. こういう活動を積極的にできるのがGoogleの良いところだと思うし、日本の企業も見習わないといけないと思った。

  29. Well well this is really sad for the sure really lucky Google's best day hey say they get camper shell Lego I want no weatherman Roosevelt say go camping today maybe notare Indian folks don't give up all your store you going to learn how to do thisdo Indian people are going to end up giving away your sovereignty crazy windy in folks don't give up how you forecast your weather

  30. One of the few useful aspects to GHOULag.
    But they can Steer direction uslng HAARP.

  31. Hi l am trying to get hold of Wilhelmina sense.she appeared in the Sunday Times in february her daughter, mediated is suffering from that disease pets. She was trying to get help for her.the grant that she has been getting. Has been discontinued.

  32. Hay que compartir los momentos buenos. Y ayudar a corregir los momentos triste .

  33. Apple is not supportive like other Mobile companies,Samsung and google Etc Support other People around the world (dont reply to me if you hate android)

  34. What Google won't tell you is how many false positives their alerts will give. Don't get me wrong, I think it is an incredibly valuable tool, but with its limitations. It is also not telling you the resolution of its dataset. In my experience, AI alone cannot solve this problem. If I predict significant rain tomorrow, and we know the potential flood extents correlated to that particular rain profile, we could then say, in our "informed" opinion, it will flood in xyz locations. The problem is, there are other factors involved (antecedent conditions for example? increase in impervious areas? engineering works? Modifications to the channel geometry? What about surface water flooding, Coastal flooding?) –> It is a much bigger problem. Google is good, but AI is not the most reliable way of doing it. I am not suggesting I have a better way (although I have a better idea), but that Google's idea is not actually new (considering this is only a year ago).

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