2023 Annual Report
An MBARI summer intern (right) with curly shoulder-length brown hair wearing a blue long-sleeved pullover and holding a blue binder and white papers speaks with an Open House visitor wearing a green jacket and black-and-white striped shirt and holding an iPad in a black rubberized case. This photograph was taken outdoors with MBARI buildings and green plants visible in the background.

FathomVerse combines gaming and community science to help train artificial intelligence to identify ocean animals. After beta testing in 2023, the video game will launch in spring 2024. Image: Tyson Rininger © 2023 MBARI

New app turns gamers into ocean explorers

Technology has greatly improved our ability to visualize the ocean, but the trove of images and video we have collected vastly exceeds our capacity for analysis. Artificial intelligence can address this deluge of data.

Ocean Vision AI, a collaboration led by MBARI, is building a global community around underwater visual data. The team’s new FathomVerse video game aims to teach casual gamers about the ocean while improving machine learning models and expanding annotated datasets.

FathomVerse creates an immersive ocean environment where gamers interact with real images collected by researchers and contribute to the process of teaching AI how to classify marine animals. The beta launch in 2023 drew 1,396 players from 65 countries. Now, the team is preparing to release the FathomVerse app this spring, allowing anyone with a smartphone or tablet to take part in ocean exploration and discovery. Visit fathomverse.game to learn more.

Promotional artwork for the FathomVerse video game, featuring a blue background with a crab-shaped logo comprised of white circles and the text “fathomverse” with “BETA” in smaller point size to the top right and “exploring the final frontier on earth” to the bottom right. In the center are bubbles with images of marine life including, from left, an orange sea star, an orange octopus, a blue petal-shaped illustrated avatar, and a brown fish. At the bottom is a stream of pink and blue dots.

After beta testing in 2023, MBARI and collaborators will release FathomVerse this spring, allowing anyone with a smartphone or tablet to join in ocean exploration. Image: © 2023 MBARI

A new lab takes shape

Construction begins on MBARI’s new robotic technology lab, the Instrumentation Integration and Testing Facility.