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Artificial Intelligence in Scuba Diving?

For divers, AI could potentially help them identify marine life critters.
By Wayne B. Brown | Created On December 6, 2023
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Artificial Intelligence in Scuba Diving?

A person in scuba gear next to a coral reef

Cocos frogfish

Courtesy of Aggressor Adventures

You are about to enter another dimension, a scuba dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop…no, not the Twilight Zone but the AI Zone! Yes, Artificial Intelligence is coming to scuba diving.

There are numerous ways it could be very beneficial to us while we are underwater enjoying our next liveaboard scuba dive vacation. During a liveaboard dive adventure, most of us will at some point see a critter or coral that we either cannot recall the name of, have never looked up or is a completely new species that we know nothing about.

Imagine you have a tablet in a waterproof housing with a great camera built in. It also has an AI app that not only will identify this species just by pointing the camera at it but it also will start to scroll information and facts about it across the screen. I would not want this technology to take over my entire scuba dive, but there are times, on almost every dive, that I would use it and benefit from it. I have a thirst for learning not only the names of critters and corals but I also really enjoy reading about their feeding habits, life cycles, range of oceans and seas, and in particular, unique behaviors.

A person taking a picture of a shark

Philippines shark

Courtesy of Aggressor Adventures

Having a CliffsNotes version of this feed underwater in real time while I am observing the species seems like a win-win for me! Imagine a world with no more dry erase slates that you or your divemaster has to carry around and hope the handwriting is legible. Imagine a world with no more divemasters trying to mime a behavior to you. Instead of wondering whether the divemaster is having a hand spasm underwater, you will read on the AI-powered tablet about the behavior you are seeing, as well as the reason for it. For instance, the unicornfish changing colors when they suspend themselves amid the cleaner fish at a cleaner station (it changes to a lighter color so that the cleaner wrasse can more easily find any parasites or infections).

We all scuba dive to appreciate the underwater world and all of us have that thirst for better understanding of what we are experiencing. AI could never replace the euphoria we have when slowly cruising actual reefs and the sound of our regulator with each breath we take. It can, however, complement scuba diving in ways that we all would embrace.

Technology changes faster and faster every day, and it will continue on this accelerated pace. Where it will lead to in our lifetime has so many possibilities that it can become overwhelming just to consider. As the owner of Aggressor Adventures, I am excited for all of us to see where technology and AI can make this passion sport of ours an even better dimension of sight, sound and mind!

Wayne B. Brown

Wayne B. Brown

CEO Aggressor Adventures

PADI Instructor 174820