IBM and NASA Open Source Largest Geospatial AI Foundation Model
IBM and open-source AI platform Hugging Face has announced that IBM’s watsonx.ai geospatial foundation model – built from NASA’s satellite data – will be available on Hugging Face. It will be the largest geospatial foundation model on Hugging Face and the first-ever open-source AI foundation model built in collaboration with NASA.
As part of a Space Act Agreement with NASA, IBM set out earlier this year to build an AI foundation model for geospatial data. And now, by making a geospatial foundation model available via Hugging Face — a recognized leader in open-source and a well-known repository for all transformer models — efforts can advance to democratize access and application of AI to generate new innovations in climate and Earth science.
The model – trained jointly by IBM and NASA on Harmonized Landsat Sentinel-2 satellite data (HLS) over one year across the continental United States and fine-tuned on labeled data for flood and burn scar mapping — has demonstrated to date a 15 percent improvement over state-of-the-art techniques using half as much labeled data. With additional fine tuning, the base model can be redeployed for tasks like tracking deforestation, predicting crop yields, or detecting and monitoring greenhouse gasses. IBM and NASA researchers are also working with Clark University to adapt the model for applications such as time-series segmentation and similarity research.