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AI in flood forecasting, bank lending and the Gaza conflict

Google Research has developed an AI-based system that can accurately predict floods up to seven days in advance in over 80 countries, protecting the livelihoods of 460 million people. The system can be used even in regions where data is scarce, making them vulnerable to threats. By leveraging machine learning technology, flood forecasting can be scaled using various parameters such as historical events, river level readings, terrain and altitude above sea level. Based on these parameters, Google Research generated maps and performed hundreds of thousands of simulations in each location to ensure the accuracy of the predictions.

Zest AI, a Californian start-up, uses a machine learning model based on “hundreds of variables” to assess credit risk for banks as an alternative to traditional credit scores. Over 180 banks and credit unions use their services, resulting in a 25% increase in loan approvals while keeping risk constant. This application of AI in bank lending could transform the industry and make it much less risky.

The Lawenda system is an AI-based database developed by an elite intelligence branch of the Israel Defense Forces called Unit 8200. This system allowed Israel to identify 37,000 potential targets associated with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad based on their connections. It is a powerful tool that can be used in national security and intelligence gathering, much like the US National Security Agency or the UK’s GCHQ.

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