Saving the Herd with AI

NGA partnered with industry and academia to use AI to fight wildlife trafficking

NGA joined forces with the Missouri Technology Corporation and Saint Louis University Oct. 5 to launch “Saving the Herd with AI,” the first in a series of events exploring the use of automation to advance Counter Wildlife Trafficking, or CWT, efforts.

During the three-day inaugural “Ideathon,” teams of graduate students representing four St. Louis-area universities worked together at SLU’s Learning Resource Center to propose solutions to specific CWT problems outlined by Odean Serrano, founder and director of the CWT Institute.
Professional experts from NGA, industry and academia, including geospatial practitioners, researchers, artificial intelligence developers and data scientists, served as mentors and advisers to the students.

“Saving the Herd with AI” represents NGA’s commitment as a key player in the St. Louis geospatial ecosystem, and its dedication to supporting the next generation of developers to create innovation through automation, said Mike Fitzpatrick, event organizer and NGA project manager in NGA's Office of Ventures and Innovation.

“NGA’s geospatial mission relies on automation and must grow as technology expands,” said Fitzpatrick. “Combating wildlife trafficking is a geospatial problem intertwined with transnational organized crime that includes ties to terrorist entities.” CWT, as a result, as significant ties to national security.


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