Google launches free iPhone and Android feature that saves lives

Hey Google, save the world.

A vital new feature will soon be available for iPhone and Android users.

Google is using artificial intelligence (AI) to expand its technology that alerts people to potentially deadly floods and wildfires.

Thanks to new artificial intelligence technology called transfer learning, Google is able to issue warnings up to a week in advance, compared to its previous 48-hour warning, according to The Verge.

Google FloodHub provides flood alerts and allows users to see information about floods in their region or area of ​​interest. The information on the interactive map is high resolution and can show exactly where and when flooding is expected as well as the predicted water depth.

Along with FloodHub, the company is rolling out wildfire tracking to more countries after initially launching the program in the United States.

“Internally for us, it’s a really big change…it’s really a very different system,” Stella Nevo, head of engineering at Google, told The Verge. “From the user’s point of view, they [can] just expect them to have more coverage and be more accurate.

A United Nations report from October found that half the world lacks an adequate early warning system for natural disasters.

Google FloodHub provides flood alerts and allows users to see information about floods in their region or area of ​​interest.
Google

In 2021, floods accounted for the majority of recorded catastrophic events with 223 occurrences – compared to an average of 163 per year during the period 2001-2020, according to ReliefWeb. There was a high number of wildfires in 2021, with 19 occurrences compared to the 2001-2020 average of 11 per year.

The tech company hopes the expansion will save lives with its warnings by giving people enough time to evacuate safely.

Google has sent flood notifications to 23 million people in flood-prone India and Bangladesh by 2021. Now flood alerts will reach 18 more countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas Latin.

Users must have the Google search app installed to receive these alerts.

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