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Our Water (2021)

Nothing Artificial About This Intelligence: How One Company Is Using AI to Protect Whales

Ocean coastline
Sponsored by:
Photo courtesy of Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Ocean coastline
Sponsored by:
Photo courtesy of Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Headshot - Emily Charry Tissier

Emily Charry Tissier

Co-Founder & CEO, Whale Seeker

Human industry can have a profoundly negative impact on whale populations. One Canadian company is using an innovative, high-tech solution so humans and whales can co-exist. 


Montreal-based Whale Seeker is the brainchild of Emily Charry Tissier, its co-founder and CEO. “There are many industries that need to detect the presence of whales — port management, agencies managing whale populations, oil and gas, shipping, and groups conducting environmental impact assessments — and with our powerful, cutting-edge technology we can avoid unacceptable whale deaths,” she says.

Whale Seeker is powered by deep learning artificial intelligence (AI) that offers visual whale detection from aerial, satellite, and infrared images much more quickly, reliably, and affordably than conventional visual eye detection from humans. It even outperforms some current big tech options that detect whitecaps and sea ice instead of whales.

Good for the environment and good for industry

“Our secret sauce and what differentiates us from other solutions is that we have marine biologists working alongside AI specialists and software developers,” says Charry Tissier. “This makes us uniquely positioned to offer an affordable and scalable solution.”

If industry can make quicker decisions about the presence of whales, it can lessen its impact on marine life, while making its operations more efficient by potentially having to shut down for less time.

Charry Tissier is proud that Whale Seeker is democratizing access to AI by providing data to as many people as it can to create tools that will lead to more dynamic decision-making. “Whale Seeker is a simple solution that can easily be customized across all industries,” she says. “In the future, we anticipate our system to be deployed globally and used along international shipping lanes.”

Whale Seeker has defined ethics around the development and use of AI and works to ensure that its technology is only used for good. It has pending B Corp Certification.

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