NASA launches video game for citizens to help locate corals
The video game, Neural Multi-Modal Observation and Training Network (NeMO-Net), developed by researcher Ved Chirayath, allows players to become part of NASA’s effort to create a map of the coral around the world, while navigating from home in his own ship, the Nautilus. EFE
NASA announced on Thursday the launch of NeMO-Net, a video game with which users from around the globe can virtually sail the seas while helping the US space agency locate and classify coral from the oceans.
The video game, Neural Multi-Modal Observation and Training Network (NeMO-Net), developed by researcher Ved Chirayath, allows players to become part of NASA’s effort to create a map of the coral around the world while navigating from home in his own ship, the Nautilus.
“Anyone, even a first-grader, can play this game and classify the information to help us map one of the most beautiful life forms we know of,” says Chirayath in the statement, in which NASA presents this software, which Now available for Apple devices, including their computers.
In each game, players have the opportunity to interact with an agency database that will allow them to learn about the different corals that can be found on the seabed while indicating where they have been found.
During their adventure, users will also be able to win medals, learn about their progress on the platform and access educational videos on the seabed.
The 3D images used by NeMO-Net have been captured for years by NASA drone and aircraft expeditions in Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and other parts of the planet to collect images of the seabed.
These devices incorporated a series of instruments developed by the NASA Ames Research Center, located in Silicon Valley (California), which have allowed us to see what is below the ocean surface thanks to the technique of “fluid lenses” -used in the past for stargazing, which enables cameras to counteract the distortion created by water.
The game will also help train the NASA Pleiades supercomputer to locate the corals on its own and learn how to classify them, as the device will learn from the players’ decisions.
The agency expects that the more people play, the more this computer learns; to the point that it is able to work autonomously in its task of helping NASA create a map that allows scientists to better understand what is happening to corals and how to preserve them.
The seafloor coral reefs of the planet’s subtropical and tropical regions are home to some of the most diverse and complex ecosystems on the planet.
However, NASA regrets that these natural wonders are increasingly at risk due to rising seas, pollution and ocean acidification.