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AI used to identify pests

WESTERN Australian scientists have trained artificial intelligence (AI) to identify insect pests faster than anything else in the techno-sphere, creating a world-beating insect detector.

The researchers from Murdoch University and the WA Government achieved an ID accuracy of 72.1 percent, which beats existing techniques while achieving a fast detection rate of 63.8 images per second.

They used a machine-learning platform called YOLOv3, a network that acts as an efficient and straightforward detector that learns to identify objects of different sizes.

They added a feature that allowed the detector to learn differing spatial elements.

“Traditionally, visual inspection and manual counting were done to acquire information on insect populations,” lead researcher and information technology expert Professor Ferdous Sohel said.

“However, these methods are labour-intensive, time-consuming and potentially inconsistent due to the human factor.

“With the rapid development of machine learning and deep-learning techniques, automatic detection of agricultural insects is now feasible.”



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