Microsoft Corp. has announced a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy to develop artificial intelligence (AI) tools to help first-responders manage dynamic, fast-moving natural disasters. The tech giant and government department will co-chair “The First Five Consortium,” which is an acknowledgment to the significance of the first five minutes when responding to a natural disaster. The group is projected to build between 10 to 30 AI-powered systems. Microsoft will provide technological resources, such as its Azure cloud, and the US Department of Energy will focus on development and testing. The group is expecting to have its first AI prototype ready to be tested in Fall 2020. In addition, the group has two systems that are in the early stages of development including an AI system that will map and predict fire lines, or in other words the bounds of a wildfire, and another similar system that will focus on floods. For more information click here.