How satellite images and deep learning can fight global poverty

Satellites are best known for helping smartphones map driving routes or televisions deliver programs. But now, data from some of the thousands of satellites orbiting Earth are now helping track things like crop conditions on rural farms, illegal deforestation, and increasingly, poverty in the hard-to-reach places around the globe.As much as that data has the potential to provide invaluable information to humanitarian organizations, watchdog groups and policymakers, there is too much of it to sift through in order to draw insights that could influence important decisions. A team of researchers from Stanford University, however, says it has developed an efficient way. By creating a deep-learning algorithm that can recognize signs of poverty in satellite images – such as condition of roads – the team could sort through millions images to…


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