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CNN10 2019-12-09

CNN 10

Prisoner Exchange Between The United States and Iran; Anniversary Of A "Date That Will Live In Infamy"; Use Of A.I. To Detect Wildfires. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired December 9, 2019 - 04:00:00 聽 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: We are kicking off our last week on air for 2019. After this Friday the next time we'll see you is on January 6th, 2020. And I want to thank all of you who've tweeted me that you would have watched on Christmas though I'm not sure you're being completely truthful and remember Santa Claus is watching you.

I'm Carl Azuz for CNN 10. In August of 2016, an American graduate student named Xiyue Wang was arrested in Tehran the capital of Iran. He was doing research there at the time and studying the Farsi language but Iran sentenced him to 10 years in prison saying his school, Princeton University, had sent Wang to Iran to get secret information about the country.

Princeton said that was completely false. Two years later the United Nations said there was no legal reason why Wang was arrested and imprisoned and on Saturday the Trump Administration announced that Wang was in good spirits after arriving at a U.S. Army Medical Center in Germany. This was part of a prisoner exchange. On the same day that Wang arrived in Germany an Iranian stem cell scientist was pictured flying back to his home country alongside Iran's foreign minister. The scientist's name is Massoud Soleimani. He was arrested in Chicago, Illinois in the fall of last year and found guilty of breaking trade laws concerning Iran.

That country says Soleimani had not committed any crime. An interesting part of all this is how it happened. The U.S. and Iran are rivals. They don't have diplomatic relations. Officials from the two countries don't regularly talk to each other. Both the White House and the Iranian government thank Switzerland for its assistance in the negotiations. And a U.S. government official says the Trump Administration hopes this will lead to more success with Iran. There are other Americans being held in the Middle Eastern country. The U.S. government says it won't rest until every American who's been detained there and around the world is brought back home.

10 Second Trivia. The two U.S. national memorials at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii include the USS Arizona and what other ship? USS Utah, Oklahoma,

California, West Virginia. Though it's only open to the American military the USS Utah Memorial also rests at Pearl Harbor.


PRESIDENT FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT: A date which will live in infamy.

ROOSEVELT: The United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.


AZUZ: That made Saturday the 78th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and one of the American sailors who survived the bombings and explosion of the USS Arizona was laid to rest there on this Pearl Harbor Day. Lauren Bruner died on September 10th of this year. He was almost 99 years old and his loved ones gathered Saturday at the USS Arizona Memorial to remember him and pass his remains to U.S. Navy divers who placed them near one of the Arizona's gun turrets. Bruner was the second to last man to escape from the sinking ship and a memorial spokeswoman says he'll be the last survivor to have this done.

As only three people who were aboard the Arizona in 1941 are still alive and the others plan to be laid to rest with their families. When it was carried out, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was the deadliest attack on American soil and in the days that followed the United States joined China, Great Britain and the Soviet Union in their fight against Germany, Italy and Japan, the struggle of the second World War.

Up next a way artificial intelligence could be used to save land and lives. Simply put, AI is using computers to accomplish tasks that people normally do. It's already sprung up all around us when you look up how to translate a sentence from English to Spanish, when an application picks out new songs or movies or clothes for you based on something you like. When Alexa, or Google or Siri answers questions about everything from the weather to the best way to get somewhere, these are examples of AI in action.

And while there are privacy concerns about having your every move or statement monitored, the technology is rapidly changing the ways many people live. Can it help protect them from danger? Smokey the Bear is a U.S. Forest Service character that has told people for decades "Only you can prevent forest fires or wildfires". Could artificial intelligence also play a role? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In 2018, California saw the largest and deadliest wildfires in its history. The notorious "Camp Fire" spread at a rate of 80 football fields per minute. That means detecting wildfires as early as possible and responding quickly have become essential to thwarting a potentially deadly disaster and one start up says it's found a way to spot fires just minutes after they spark.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the image being captured in space, to us producing an alert it's about nine minutes start to finish.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico Descartes Labs uses cloud based artificial intelligence to analyze huge swaths of real time satellite imagery and identify fires.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we decided to focus on satellite imagery just because there's so much of it and this means there's lots and lots of data about the planet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today, fire authorities most often rely on human spotters to report a blaze but Descartes AI platform scans thermal imagery from NOAA satellites to look for what the company calls heat anomalies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this turns out to be a - - a pretty challenging problem because the temperature of the Earth is always changing. And we basically seek out these hotspots by modeling what the Earth would look like if there wasn't a fire there and then comparing that to the image that we get from the GOES-16 and 17 satellites. And if we notice a - - a big discrepancy than that's a pretty good indicator that there's a fire there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The company says it's already pinpointed exact locations for 4,700 fires and is currently testing a wildfire alert system with the local forestry division in New Mexico, but Descartes sees a future where it could help fire authorities in other states too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the "Kincade Fire" is a good example of, you know, how this technology could change how we respond to fires.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In October 2019, the "Kincade Fire" started in Sonoma County, California and went on to scorch more than 77,000 acres of land.

The company says it generated an alert before most people even knew the fire existed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We detected it about 10 minutes after it started but it was a lot more challenging for - - for people because this fire started at - - around 9:30 at night. And it wouldn't be until half an hour after we had already broadcast our alert that CAL FIRE would have a - - a plane over the fire and another few hours until they actually reported it publicly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To the team it's evidence of the systems advantage over human spotters. Of course to really make an impact, the technology will need to integrate with fire fighting authorities that can respond to the fires on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's all about making sure that less fires slip through the cracks that then go on to become these massive mega fires.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The company's ambitions don't stop there. It's currently using this same technology to find methane leaks in oil fields and scan crops in Africa to identify potential food shortages. Other companies are working on similar technology as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's lots of different ways you can apply this AI technology at scale and try to monitor the Earth and try to stop problems before they become much, much bigger.


AZUZ: This is a perfect 10 out of 10 idea. Let's put this electric eel to work. The animal at the Tennessee Aquarium is named Miguel Wattson. He's the electric eel and somehow engineers harnessed his shocks to power the lights of a nearby Christmas tree. When he's just swimming around looking for food, the lights blink a little. When he gets excited or he eats, the tree really lights up. We bet it glows like nobody's business when he hears his favorite Christmas song.

"Eel be Home for Christmas", "A Holly Jellied Christmas", "We Need a Little Fishmish", "Eelize Navidad", "It's Beginning to Look A lot Like Crustations", "Let it Glow, Let it Glow, Let it Glow", "I'm Dreaming of a Wet Christmas", "Silver Eels" and of course every eels undisputed favorite "Shocking Around the Christmas Tree". Woo. I'm Carl Azuz and "eel" be back tomorrow on CNN.