article / 18 January 2023

Apply Now: AI for Conservation Office Hours

Are you stuck on an AI or ML challenge in your conservation work? Apply now for the chance to receive tailored expert advice from data scientists! Applications due 27th January 2023

Are you stuck on an AI or ML challenge in your conservation work? Our virtual WILDLABS Office Hours offers you the chance to connect with an AI expert to talk through your work and get tailored expert advice on taking your project to the next level. 

We're once again teaming up with Dan Morris from Google's AI for Nature and Society program to run AI for Conservation Office Hours, where we bring together conservationists and data scientists from Google, Microsoft and more! 

Through virtual 1:1 sessions, we connect conservationists with AI experts so that conservationists looking to incorporate AI into their workflows can get the advice they need on using AI tools in the context of their own project and what to try next on the path to success.

AI for Conservation Office Hours are open to all community members who could put this expert advice to good use, no matter what stage you’re at with AI or your previous expertise level. If you think this opportunity could be productive for you and your project, then apply now!

What are the AI for Conservation Office Hours?

Sometimes when you're stuck, there's nothing more helpful than having a conversation with a real person about your problem and kicking around ideas of what to try, potential resources to look at, what to avoid and where you can go next. One conversation can save you hours searching different forums and information rabbit holes, or could save you from heading down a dead-end path with tools or processes that don't fit your work's goals.

Our goal is to find and help the people who are in this place - where it would be a relief to have some friendly experts to chat through your project's plans and brainstorm ways to get past your current challenge. You'll leave your session with new ideas to try, reassurance that you're on the right path, and encouragement to keep going. Plus, we'll make sure you're connected into our bigger community of conservation tech experts from all around the world so that next time you hit a roadblock, you'll be able to get the help you need, right when you need it. 

Ahead of your 1:1 session, you'll join a briefing call with Dan Morris where you'll learn what you need to prepare to get the most out of your session. 

In 2021, we worked with Dan and his team to provide this unique opportunity for conservationists both thinking about using AI and those already doing AI work to discuss the possibilities and best options with a data expert.

From considering the hard problems and accuracy rate of thermally-triggered photographs of elephants in the Nilgiris reserve in southern India, to questions on how to automate species classification of bioacoustic and camera trap data in a variety of marine, coastal and terrestrial ecosystems, these Office Hours sessions provided a uniquely direct, hands-on approach to solving a need within our community for clarity, direction and reassurance with their individual conservation projects.

Applications from a wide variety of AI applications in conservation are welcome!

Application and process

Apply to join our 2023 AI for Conservation Office Hours by completing this sign up form by the 27th January, 2023. 

We will shortlist 10 applicants to participate. Ahead of your 1:1 session, all shortlisted applicants will join a briefing call so you can meet Dan Morris, the WILDLABS team and your fellow AI for conservation practitioners. We will then arrange a 1:1 virtual call with the data scientists to talk through your specific problem. Based on the information you provide, Dan will work to match you up with the data scientists best equipped to help with your AI or ML conservation challenges.

Leading up to your 1:1 session we will provide details of what you will need to prepare to ensure your issue is effectively communicated to the specialist. One of the first things they will ask for when talking about AI problems is sample data that conveys the gist of the problem, so please be ready with some sample data to share! 

These sessions will run in late February and early March 2023. Time-zones can be flexible.

The deadline for applications is 27 January 2023

Apply now!


Header image: Lukas Picek | Detection, identification and monitoring of animals by advanced computer vision methods project | This project is developing new technologies related to deep understanding of data from camera traps, with the goal of increasing annotation effectivity to help to reduce reaction time to urgent situations, e.g. occurrence of a conflict species in new areas or a harmed animal, improve and simplify identification of the individuals and to refine population estimates of endangered species, and to find new relations in the indexed data across time and diverse locations.

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