Photo taken on December 10, 2017 shows a shark-spotting drone with a safety flotation device attached underneath flying over Bilgola beach north of Sydney. AFP / PETER PARKS
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High-tech shark-spotting drones are patrolling dozens of Australian beaches this summer to quickly identify underwater predators and deliver safety devices to swimmers and surfers faster than traditional lifesavers.As hundreds of people lined up in early morning sun to take part in a recent ocean swimming race at Bilgola beach north of Sydney, they did so in the knowledge the ocean had been scanned to keep them safe.Artificial intelligence is built using thousands of images captured by a drone camera to develop an algorithm that can identify different ocean objects.Some beaches in Australia have shark nets, but a government report this week called for their phasing out in favor of exploring a range of alternatives, including sonar technology and aerial patrols.
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