How you and your phone camera can defend Australia from pest threats.
One insect can change everything.
If the Khapra beetle entered Australia, it could cost $15.5 billion over 20 years.
The threat is growing, with the expansion of the Q Fly and entrance of the Fall Armyworm as two examples.
These insects are an existential threat for farmers.
Camera-enabled mobile phones have become common place, and new developments in smartphone technology have changed the game.
Most users can capture exceptionally high quality images even on inexpensive devices. This means that a wide range of people can now participate in documenting and identifying dangerous species.
Huge advances have been in many artificial intelligence fields in the past few years, and image recognition (computer vision) techniques in particular, using machine learning, have become more advanced and sophisticated than ever before.
This, when combined with big data, allows us to achieve unprecedented results that make a difference in the real world.