DeepMind AI Can Beat Best Weather Forecasts – But There’s A Catch

  • AI can predict the weather 10 days ahead more accurately than current state-of-the-art simulations, says AI firm Google DeepMind – but meteorologists have warned against abandoning weather models based in real physical principles and just relying on patterns in data, while pointing out shortcomings in the AI approach.
  • Existing weather forecasts are based on mathematical models, which use physics and powerful supercomputers to deterministically predict what will happen in the future. These models have slowly become more accurate by adding finer detail, which in turn requires more computation and therefore ever more powerful computers and higher energy demands.
  • Rémi Lam at Google DeepMind and his colleagues have taken a different approach. Their GraphCast AI model is trained on four decades of historical weather data from satellites, radar and ground measurements, identifying patterns that not even Google DeepMind understands. “Like many machine-learning AI models, it’s not very easy to interpret how the model works,” says Lam.
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