Credible World News, 24/7 – 365

Japan employs artificial intelligence detect rip currents in the beach as season heats up

AI system identifies currents and bathers, and sends a warning to lifeguards via a smart watch

Early July is the cue for Japanese surfers and sun seekers to descend on beaches across the country – and one beach on the Pacific coast is turning to artificial intelligence to ensure that their time in the water is without incident.

Officials in Kanagawa prefecture, south of Tokyo, have introduced an AI system to identify rip currents – which cause 60% of drowning deaths – and send a warning to bathers and lifeguards, according to the Mainichi Shimbun.

The beach at Yuigahama, a popular beach in the town Kamakura, which reopened on 1 July after two years of closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, is a well-known surfing spot and is expected to attract huge numbers of people during what the meteorological agency predicts will be an unusually hot summer.

Garbage island no more: how one Japanese community triumphed over a toxic waste dumpRead more

Experts at the Japan Lifesaving Association and Chuo University in Tokyo collected rip current data over six months in the winter of 2021 to ensure the system worked, the Mainichi reported.

According to the lifesaving association, a web camera mounted on a pole identifies a rip current and anyone swimming its vicinity, and then immediately notifies a lifeguard via a smart watch.

The images were also used to develop a warning system that sends government officials real-time information about bathers after a tsunami occurs, the newspaper said.

The rip current measure is part of a local drive to revive the beach after the pandemic hiatus, and push the area’s environmental credentials. Yuigahama is one of about 20 beaches in the prefecture that have been closed for the past two summers.

“There are some beach huts that haven’t been able to operate for two years, and they’re keen to get started again,” said Mieko Konishi, the chair of the Kanagawa Beach Federation of beach hut owners. “We want to operate our facilities while taking virus countermeasures similar to those in ordinary restaurants.”

Bars and restaurants lining Yuigahama have introduced biodegradable forks and spoons – reportedly a first in Japan – and slopes have been built to improve access for people who use wheelchairs.

“We’re taking a progressive approach that is barrier-free, safe and eco-friendly,” Motohide Masuda, the head of the Yuigahama Beach Business Association, told the Mainichi. “We hope people will enjoy a modern Yuigahama.”

Related articles

Italy: Foreign minister quits 5-Star to create a new group that will support the PM

Luigi Di Maio’s move comes after he accused 5-Star leader Giuseppe Conte of undermining government support for Ukraine Italy’s foreign minister Luigi Di Maio has announced that he is leaving the 5-Star Movement to form a new parliamentary group backing the government of prime minister Mario Draghi. Matteo Salvini defends plan for Russian-funded Moscow tripRead […]

Boris Johnson plans July wedding celebration with Carrie at Chequers.

Celebration plans likely to come under scrutiny after PM’s resignation as Conservative leader Boris Johnson has planned a July wedding party with his wife, Carrie, at his prime ministerial retreat, multiple sources have said. Johnson, who resigned on Thursday, and his wife have sent save-the-date invitations to guests to the party at Chequers, the prime […]

Giraffes, zebras … along with cycling in the Maasai Mara

East Africans rarely get a chance to show what they can do on two wheels. They did that in Kenya this month and the result was spectacular In the world of long-distance running, east Africans have long been the dominant force, and soon they may also be setting the pace in the whitest of elite […]

‘We don’t want to encourage it’: Some Rays players refuse to wear Pride logo

Jason Adam says he opted out due to ‘faith-based decision’ Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier offers different perspective A number of Tampa Bay Rays players decided not to wear rainbow-colored logos on their uniforms as part of the team’s annual “Pride Night” on Saturday that recognized the LGBTQ community. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash […]

Canadian Premier quits abruptly amid a rise in far-right influenced policies

Conservative Jason Kenney, Alberta premier, leaves province’s top job after barely surviving a leadership review The abrupt resignation of Alberta’s premier has shocked the western province and raised questions about the ideological direction of Canada’s conservative movement amid a surge in far-right and populist influences. Jason Kenney announced late on Wednesday that he was leaving […]

South African police disperse crowd asking for help after floods.

‘Climate change is here,’ says President Ramaphosa after 300 died in eastern city of Durban Police in South Africa have used stun grenades to disperse a crowd calling for more and better official aid for victims of the lethal floods earlier this week. The demonstration on Thursday briefly blocked a major highway in the eastern […]

Pressure points: risk of violence grows as Kenya’s election draws near

Tensions run high amid youth unemployment, a cost of living crisis and a lack of trust in the country’s institutions As Kenya’s presidential elections draw closer, the country’s vulnerability to violence is back in evidence. Politicians here are infamous for inflaming underlying ethnic tensions, by touching on national pressure points, such as historical grievances over […]

from The Office to Severance: how the fictional workplace changed From bad to more

On International Workers’ Day, we chart the cultural changes from moments of humanity at Wernham Hogg to grim visions of a more brutal post-Covid reality In the final minutes of the final episode of the genre-defining mockumentary The Office, our favourite disenchanted worker, Tim (Martin Freeman), neatly summarises the banal rhythms of the early 2000s […]

UK parliament closes TikTok account after Tory criticism of app’s China links

MPs including Tom Tugendhat and Iain Duncan Smith express fears Beijing may be able to access users’ personal data The UK parliament has closed its TikTok account following objections from senior Conservative politicians about the social video app’s connections to China. The speakers of the House of Commons and House of Lords said they had […]