On November 4, select startup machine learning engineers from local Philippine startups were invited to attend Lisa Wang's ML Lightning talk on Fighting Deforestation with Computer Vision.
Lisa is currently a Machine Learning Software Engineer at Google Brain, Google’s deep learning artificial intelligence lab formed in the early 2010s to tackle large scale machine learning research. She was also a former Computer Vision Engineer at Orbital Insight, a geospatial analytics company in California that uses satellite and aerial imagery to study activity and provide strategic business and economic insights.
Lisa shared insights from her Forest Mapping project that she had conducted at Orbital Insight. She gave a technical overview of their project and gave practical tips on building scalable ML models while addressing practical challenges like visibility issues from aerial imagery.
The Forest Mapping project used machine learning to identify areas where palm oil production has resulted in deforestation in Indonesia and other countries. Deep learning models applied to high-resolution satellite imagery allowed the team to differentiate natural forests from vast oil palm plantations and were used to monitor when and where natural forests were being damaged.
See this link for a full write up by Lisa and her team on their work and the results of this project.