Researchers from the University of Copenhagen and NASA taught artificial intelligence to identify trees and, using it, have discovered an estimated 1.8 billion trees and shrubs in the Sahara Desert. The vegetation the team has identified is in the Western Sahara, a region of about 1.3 million square kilometers that includes the desert, the Sahel, and the sub-humid zones of West Africa. The researchers now hope to further refine their AI to provide a more detailed accounting of the trees it identifies in satellite photos and expand the hunt to a larger area of Africa, with the long-term goal being the creation of a more comprehensive and accurate global database of trees that grow beyond the boundaries of forests.