Artificial Intelligence: AI Could Identify Termite Species In A Snap, A Boon For Pest Control

September 30, 2021 | Artificial Intelligence, News

Futuristic scenario: The technician only has to take a few smartphone pics of the little pests and the AI would nail their species.

A team of researchers in Taiwan have utilized deep convolutional neural networks (DCNNs or CNNs) to extract and differentiate patterns within images and automatically identify termites species. Their success raises the possibility of the use of the technology in pest control to successfully counter termite infestations. (Entomology Today)

AI versus termites

The Taiwanese scientists used smartphones to take 18,000 images of four different species of termites using smartphones. Because each image contained several termites, the team was able to ultimately feed and train its AI algo on 24,000 individual termite images.

Senior author on the study Hou-Feng Li, Ph.D., of the National Chung Hsing University said: “The dataset is a group of photos, and each one [is] associated with a species name. In this study, we focused on the pest species in Taiwan, and hence we only used the commonly encountered four pests to train the model.”

Result of the study

The researchers write, “Our main contributions include the curation of numerous smartphone-based images of termite pests and the successful implementation of deep learning models for termite classification. Our ultimate goal is providing the termite image classifiers for installing in regular smartphones under commercial operation systems.”

“The immediate identification result will lead the user to biological information of the termite pest, control options, control products, and even professional pest management service in reachable distance. The high identification efficiency and accuracy will improve the integrated pest management of termites.”

Jia-Hsin Huang, Ph.D., of the Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica, in Taipei, Taiwan, “The termite-CNN model developed in the paper opens a window to introduce the effective machine-learning algorithms to termite pest control.”

Related Story: AI And High-Tech Cameras To Protect Bees From Deadly Mites

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