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Harnessing AI to Solve Flooding Challenges in the Philippines

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The AI Research Centre for Community Development (AIRCoDE), the first AI research centre in the Bicol Region, was formally launched by the Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges (CSPC) and the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology, Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD).

Enrico Paringit, the Executive Director of DOST-PCIEERD, praised the state college for building the facility and expressed hope that it will lead to innovations for the surrounding areas. “CSPC is gaining momentum in its pursuit of developing its research capabilities, and we have no doubt that AIRCODE will be another success story for them and for the Bicolanos,” he said.

Dr Paringit acknowledged AIRCODE’s essential contribution to the 49 labs that have been established across the country as part of the council’s Infrastructure Development Program (IDP). To date, they have invested more than two Php234.4 million (S$6.32 million) in cutting-edge lab equipment, infrastructure, specialised software, and other critical operational requirements for research and development businesses.

The importance of this facility, according to Project Leader Joseph Jessie Oñate, will aid the town of Nabua, which serves as a collect basin for floodwaters from Albay. According to the official report of the Nabua Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO), in 2020, not only was the Nabua school site flooded, but 18 of the 34 villages in the town were also waterlogged, and approximately 520 families, or roughly 2,471 people, were forced to stay in evacuation camps.

The AI Research Centre for Community Development (AIRCoDE) is a new facility that is part of the Department of Science and Technology-Bicol’s (DOST-Bicol) Infrastructure Development Program (IDP). The centre is equipped with cutting-edge lab equipment and infrastructure, and it will focus on using AI to address the flooding crisis in Nabua, Camarines Sur.

As part of the facility, the research project “Project Apaw: Spatiotemporal Forecasting of River Flood using Deep Learning” will be carried out. This project will use deep learning to estimate flood levels and provide real-time notifications through websites, social media pages, and SMS. This will help to better prepare the community for calamities.

AIRCoDE will increase the research skills of AI enthusiasts, including academic members and students, in addition to addressing the urgent requirements of the Rinconada communities. Deep learning, computer vision, and other AI technologies will be used to do this.

DOST-Bicol Director Rommel Serrano said that AIRCoDE is a “game changer” for the region. The Bicol region is particularly vulnerable to typhoons due to its topographical features and location. AIRCoDE has the potential to be adopted by other towns in the region in the future, and it could set a precedent for how AI can be used to benefit the nation.

Further, leading-edge AI technologies and algorithms are being developed in research centres for AI. In addition to conducting fundamental research to expand the capabilities of AI, they take on some of the most difficult and complicated issues in a variety of fields. Researchers can examine enormous amounts of data, spot trends, and offer insightful analysis that could lead to answers for urgent global problems by utilising AI approaches.

AI research facilities also focus on improving the effectiveness, accuracy, and stability of current AI systems. This ongoing development makes sure that AI technologies are dependable and efficient when used in practical applications like the AIRCoDE.


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