Artificial intelligence could mark a before and an after in the weather forecasting, which today is an indispensable tool of everyday life. It not only helps you to know whether or not to go out with an umbrella, but also supports agriculture, aviation, outdoor events and weather emergency planning.
However, current tools still Have much room for improvement in short-term predictions but this could change very soon. DeepMind, Google’s British artificial intelligence subsidiary, claims to have an artificial intelligence system that can predict whether it will rain in the next 90 minutes.
The company partnered with the UK’s meteorological department, Met Office, to drastically improve weather prediction techniques by using the Deep Generative Rainfall Model (DGMR).
DeepMind claims it can predict rainfall up to 2 hours in advance by analyzing the last 20 minutes of radar data. But the artificial intelligence model is also able to provide even more accurate data. For example: how much it will rain, at what time of day it will rain, for how long it will rain and at what location.
Artificial intelligence in the service of meteorology
In order to test the approach, 56 Met Office meteorologists were asked to rate the performance of DGMR. To do this they did a blind comparison with another competing tool that also uses artificial intelligence. 89% said they preferred DGMR’s results.
“We were especially interested in the ability of these models to make predictions about medium to heavy rainfall events, which are the events that impact people and the economy the most, and we showed statistically significant improvements,” they say at DeepMind.
And if you’re wondering when this new weather forecasting model with artificial intelligence will start to be used, we must tell you that it is still too early to tell. From DeepMind believe that this approach provides an interesting alternative to traditional methods, but it’s still not without its limitations.
The team is committed to continue working to further improve the accuracy of predictions in different scenarios. “Future work will require us to develop additional ways to evaluate performance and to further specialize these methods for real-world applications,” they explain.
The collaboration between DeepMind and Met Office is a good example of how artificial intelligence can be applied in a wide variety of scenarios. It is already present in Internet search, social networks, personal assistants, cybersecurity, vehicles and much more.