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Artificial Intelligence for Humanitarian Action: Current Affairs 

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Artificial Intelligence for Humanitarian Action

Relevance: Society

Context: Recently, Microsoft India announced the launch of its second phase of an artificial intelligence (AI) model Sunny Lives for predicting heatwave risks in India in partnership with the Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS).

More about Sunny Lives

  • In 2020, the model was successfully tested for cyclones and floods in disaster-prone coastal areas in the country.
  • This AI model solution has been developed under the AI for Humanitarian Action program to build disaster-resilient communities in India.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

  • It is a wide-ranging branch of computer science concerned with building smart machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence.

About AI for Humanitarian Action

  • It is a global program of Microsoft which works with organizations around the world to advance humanitarian action projects.
  • It supports disaster response, refugees, displaced people, human rights, and the needs of women and children.
  • Microsoft has committed $40 million over five years to support nonprofits and humanitarian organizations working across these areas.

What is Heat Wave?

·       Heatwaves refer to a period of prolonged abnormally high surface temperatures relative to those normally expected.

·       It may span several days to several weeks and are a significant cause of weather-related mortality, affecting developed and developing countries alike.

·       The increasing frequency and intensity of heatwaves observed since the 1950s have been associated with climate change.

Additional Information

The criterion for Declaring Heat Waves in India

  • A heatwave is considered if the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C or more for Plains and at least 30°C or more for Hilly regions.
  1. Based on Departure from normal:
  • Normal Heat Wave: Departure from normal is 4.50°C to 6.40°C
  • Severe Heat Wave: Departure from normal is greater than 6.40°C.
  1. Based on Actual Maximum Temperature:
  • Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥ 45°C
  • Severe Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥47°C.
  • If the above criteria are met at least in 2 stations in a Meteorological sub-division for at least two consecutive days and it will be declared on the second day.
  • The criterion for describing Heat Wave for coastal stations in India-When the maximum temperature departure is 4.50°C or more (provided the actual maximum temperature is 37°C or more).
  • In India, heat waves typically occur from March to June, and in some rare cases, even extend till July.

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