Surfers, swimmers and beachcombers face a hidden danger in the ocean: rip currents. These narrow channels of water can flow away from the shore at speeds of up to 2.5 meters per second, making them one of the biggest dangers for those enjoying the ocean.

To ensure the safety of beachgoers, Christo Rautenbach, a researcher of physical processes in coastal and estuarine environments, teamed up with the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand to develop a tool to identify rip currents in real time using deep learning.

In this episode, NVIDIA AI Podcasthost Noah Kravitz interviews Rautenbach about how artificial intelligence can be used to detect surge currents and the potential for the tool to be used around the world to reduce the number of surge deaths.

Developed in collaboration with Surf Lifesaving New Zealand, the rip current identification tool achieved a detection rate of approximately 90% in trials. Rautenbach also shares the research behind the technology, which was published in the Nov. 22 issue of the journal Remote Sensing.

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