Taiwan Mobile Tech The Dreamers: Technology, Dreams, and Constructing an Ocean Bio-database

April 10,2024

  Taiwan Mobile empowers ESG using technology, advancing " Tech The Dreamers" to support social innovation teams in realizing their dreams. The winning team of the third term, BlueTrend, focuses on biodiversity and marine conservation. With a grant of over 2 million NT dollars from Taiwan Mobile Foundation, they developed the first civilian AI-equipped "AI Ocean Data Ocean" marine bio-database. Today (10th), the results presentation was held, featuring Iris Liu, CEO of Taiwan Mobile Foundation, Spark Chao, Co-Founder of BlueTrend, and Emmie Ries, AI Ocean Data Experience Ambassador, sharing the achievements of the third term of the project and calling on everyone to become an "ocean citizen scientists."


  To encourage everyone to become "Ocean Citizen Scientists" and enhance AI marine species identification capabilities, Taiwan Mobile invited Emmie Ries, a TV hostess and diving enthusiast, to serve as the AI Ocean Data Experience Ambassador. Emmie Ries went to Lambai Island to shoot promotional videos, experiencing diving, capturing photos of marine life, and uploading them to the marine bio-database. She advocates for Taiwanese people to get to know and love the ocean, encouraging them to jump into the deep blue with their cameras as "Ocean Citizen Scientists." The goal is to recruit 12,000 "Ocean Citizen Scientists" by the end of the year, accumulating over 21,000 marine life photos, and training AI to identify over 150 species of marine life. This initiative aims to enhance public ocean literacy, enrich the marine database, and promote marine biodiversity. Let's Open Your AI Ocean together and safeguard the deep blue.


Taiwan Mobile CEO Jamie Lin: Leveraging Technological Power to Enhance Public Ocean Literacy and Establish Biological Research Foundations


  Taiwan Mobile CEO Jamie Lin urges everyone to become a "proud ocean citizen scientist and build a brand new ocean database." CEO Jamie Lin emphasizes that the ocean is the lifeblood of the Earth; however, climate change has put marine life at risk of extinction. According to a Greenpeace research report, overfishing has led to a sharp decrease in the catch of 20 fish species over the past few decades, with catches reduced by over 90% compared to the 1980s. Additionally, nearly half to two-thirds of common species have become scarce. Given Taiwan is surrounded by ocean, the conservation of marine biodiversity is critical. We proudly partner with BlueTrend to jointly build the "AI Ocean Data" marine bio-database, calling on the public to accurately record marine and coastal organisms in a way that does not harm marine life. This aims to create a comprehensive marine life guide and use the power of technology to establish the foundation for marine biological research, gradually realizing net positive impacts on biodiversity.


Iris Liu, CEO of Taiwan Mobile Foundation: Combining Technological Applications and Creativity to Amplify the Impact of Social Innovation Teams


  Iris Liu, CEO of Taiwan Mobile Foundation, stated that the project “Tech The Dreamers " is designed support organizations with dreams and aspirations for the world. The aim is to help social innovation organizations amplify their ESG impact through the infusion of Taiwan Mobile's “technology and dreams fund.” Taiwan Mobile sees great potential in BlueTrend's use of technology for marine conservation, as well as the team's shared goal with Taiwan Mobile in developing AI and focusing on biodiversity. Therefore, out of the 27 submissions, and 9 shortlisted, ultimately "BlueTrend" was selected to assist the team in building the "AI Ocean Data" marine bio-database.


  Taiwan Mobile provides existing cloud and database integration consultations, UI (User Interface), UX (User Experience) suggestions, assistance in constructing AI systems, optimizing user experience, and offering marketing support. With Taiwan Mobile's full support, the aim is to expand the team's influence and safeguard marine biodiversity. The fourth round of the project "Tech The Dreamers" is about to begin. In addition to the funding of 2,000,000NTD$ (61,507.24USD$) from the technology and dreams fund, Taiwan Mobile will integrate core ICT technologies to assist local teams hoping to see more creative proposals that resonate with SDGs and incorporate technological applications to expand ESG impact. Teams with dreams, technological capabilities, and innovative abilities are welcome to submit proposals.


AI Ocean Data Ocean: Citizens Capture and Transmit, Recognizing Undersea Wonders in 10 Seconds


  Spark Chao, the co-founder of BlueTrend, expressed that BlueTrend is a self-media platform team composed of individuals passionate about the ocean, focusing long-term on marine conservation and related issues. Due to overfishing in Taiwan's waters, marine biodiversity has been severely affected. Additionally, the lack of baseline data over the years has made it difficult for research teams to measure the ecological status of the ocean. In response, in 2021, we began building the "Marine Bio-database," inviting citizens to embrace the spirit of ocean citizen scientists. While diving, they are encouraged to take photos of marine life without disturbing them and upload these photos to the database. Meanwhile, biologists ensure the accuracy of the information in the database.


  However, during the process, difficulties arose in collecting photos, increasing the difficulty of identifying them. Manual identification consumed considerable time and manpower, which was not conducive to sustainable future research and development.


  In collaboration with Taiwan Mobile's "Tech The Dreamers" project, we incorporated AI recognition functionality, optimized the system architecture, and upgraded it into the "AI Ocean Data" marine bio-database. Citizens are invited to capture, transmit, and identify marine species in photos. Currently, there are over 11,000 photos accumulated. With AI, over 80 species of organisms can be identified in 10 seconds, including "undersea wonders" such as sea slugs, iconic species like green sea turtles, common invertebrates like sea urchins and sea cucumbers, and other common marine life in Taiwan.


  In the future, we hope to gather more "Ocean Citizen Scientists" to collect a larger number of photos of marine life, continuously improve the accuracy of AI recognition, and introduce multiple languages to the database, making the platform international and expanding the influence of marine conservation.


AI Ocean Experience Ambassador Emmie Ries: Calling on Diving Enthusiasts to Become 'Ocean Citizen Scientists


  Taiwan Mobile invited Emmie Ries to serve as the "AI Ocean Experience Ambassador" and to shoot a 5-minute video showcasing the results on the famous tourist island of Lambai (Xiao Liuqiu) in Taiwan. Emmie Ries experienced diving firsthand, holding a flashlight in one hand and a camera in the other, capturing marine life. Despite her years of diving experience, stabilizing her body underwater and taking clear photos without disturbing the creatures proved to be a significant challenge. However, when she successfully photographed a turtle and it was identified as a green sea turtle, she felt moved and excited, setting a goal to practice underwater photography every time she dives in the future. Emmie Ries shared her experience of over four years of outdoor filming, witnessing rapid changes in the natural environment, highlighting its fragility, and the impact of human activities on nature. She also mentioned that while the public is more conscious of environmental restoration in forests, there is a lack of conservation awareness for marine ecosystems. At the event, she advocated, "If the ocean is not well, the entire planet will become sick," urging the public to consciously protect the ocean and further increase awareness of marine ecosystem conservation efforts.


Taiwan Mobile's Eco-Friendly Approach to Network Infrastructure Development Preserves Biodiversity


  Taiwan Mobile is committed to caring for biodiversity and has designated 2023 as the "Taiwan Mobile Biodiversity Year." They have also announced the "Taiwan Mobile Declaration for Biodiversity Protection and Zero Deforestation," implementing biodiversity conservation throughout their operations. These operations include, the establishment and maintenance of base stations, implementing risk identification, considering dependency and impact, and evaluating the effects on ecology and biology to avoid activities in areas of high natural value and their adjacent regions. In all network construction around Taiwan's coastline, the highest criterion is to avoid damaging the habitat of local flora and fauna. They actively cooperate with on-site demands, employing landscape integration techniques or adopting methods such as co-construction or co-location to minimize the impact on natural landscapes. For example, on Lambai Island (Xiao Liuqiu), over 30% of the sites utilize co-construction, co-location, or landscape integration techniques to minimize the impact on the island's natural landscape.


  In addition, Taiwan Mobile values remote areas and user travel experiences. In 2023, the broadband population coverage rates for Taiwan Mobile's 4G and 5G networks in remote areas reached 97.92% and 95.47%, respectively, with 4G and 5G network coverage on Lambai Island reaching 99%. Considering the higher risk of typhoon damage on Lambai Island, Taiwan Mobile recommends configuring more backup power and strengthening wind disaster protection for base stations on the island. Network transmission is also built in a looped manner, with two sets of microwave stations serving as backups at different locations on the island, enhancing network resilience. If one microwave station is damaged, the island's base stations can still provide uninterrupted service, ensuring uninterrupted network services from Taiwan Mobile on Lambai Island.