PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images
Cailey Rizzo
September 07, 2017

Australian beaches will begin trialing drones that can identify sharks in the water and send alerts to those in the area.

The drones use an artificial intelligence — known as “SharkSpotter” — to detect shark movements with up to 92 percent accuracy, as compared to 30 percent accuracy with the naked eye on the ground, Reuters reported.

The drones are able to distinguish sharks from other ocean dwellers like stingrays, dolphins or human swimmers. The drones record live video, which is sent back to a drone operator on the beach. If they detect a shark, the drones can emit a warning in multiple languages via megaphone.

“It’s not about replacing human beings all together, it’s about assisting human beings to get the work done in a better way with more accuracy,” Dr Nabin Sharma, a research associate at the University of Technology Sydney’s School of Software, told Reuters.

And even when sharks are not around, the drones can still be lifesavers. The device can be launched within 10 seconds to deliver flotation devices to swimmers in a rescue mission.

Queensland and New South Wales beaches will begin testing the drones later this month.

Last year, there were 26 shark attacks on Australian beaches. Sixteen of those attacks caused injuries, and two of the attacks were fatal.

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