BNHS partners with Accenture to identify avian species with AI
Bird-lovers, fret not. Here’s a software to identify the avian species by using artificial intelligence (AI) and image recognition technology.
In a first-of-its-kind venture, the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has collaborated with Accenture to develop an Internet of Birds platform. Digital photos that will be uploaded by the public will be identified by using artificial intelligence technology, including machine learning and computer vision. The cloud-based service uses an Accenturecreated image recognition and deep learning platform for quick and accurate identification of bird species.
“Birds are excellent indicators of their environment, providing ecological information based on when and where they are located. With the rise of amateur birdwatchers across India, we are happy to have Accenture help us capitalise on all the information they can capture. This helps us encourage citizen science by involving more people in nature conservation activities,” said BNHS director Dr Deepak Apte.
The Internet of Birds platform, available to anyone, anywhere, for free, uses a unique citizen crowdsourcing approach to engage more people in birdwatching by identifying key species of birds and inspiring an interest in nature conservation. India is a biodiversity hotspot and home to almost 12.5 per cent of the world’s avifauna, consisting of 1,300 species. The platform will initially be able to identify around 300 species, but will eventually support all species found in the country.
Siddhesh Bramhankar, an ardent bird watcher and administrator for the Birds of Pune Facebook page, where birdwatchers share their observations, said, “This is a very good initiative. Not only will it help newcomers identify the birds, but also eliminate the risks of people wrongly identifying birds without full knowledge and mistakes in documentation. With this, people will start using the proper names of the birds, and also help encourage people to take up birdwatching as a hobby.”