Advert

Australian Scientists Have Made a ‘Shazam’ App For Snakes and Spiders

Published 
| Last updated 

Australian Scientists Have Made a ‘Shazam’ App For Snakes and Spiders

If you've lived in or visited Australia, there's a strong chance you'll have come across a spider or a snake.

While Australia certainly has its fair share of terrifying, deadly and menacing creatures, it's hard to know which ones will actually kill you and which ones couldn't care less about your presence.

That's why Australian researchers have developed an app to help people determine whether their eight-legged or no-legged creature is friend or foe. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia's national science agency, has joined forces with two entrepreneurs to create Critterpedia.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
Advert

You're familiar with Shazam, the app that will listen to a song and tell you the name and artist after a few seconds? Critterpedia works in much the same way.

You just have to snap a photo of the spider or snake and it will tell you very quickly if you need to run for the hills. It uses AI technology to scan the photo and dig through the digital archives to find the species, family or genus of the creature.

Another crafty method the app uses to determine what you're looking at is GPS technology. Based on where you are, the app will be able to isolate what types of spiders or snakes are usually found in that area, which makes it a hell of a lot easier to determine what species it is.

Dr Matt Adcock, project lead and researcher at Data61, CSIRO's data research arm, said in a statement: "The visual differences between two species can sometimes be quite subtle, and so a great deal of training data is needed to adequately identify critters.

Advert
Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"We've started off with an enormous amount of images sourced from zoological experts collaborating with Critterpedia, and have developed a suite of tools to help semi-automatically label these images, verify the information, and cross check with other data sources."

Nic Scarce, along with his partner Murray, came up with the idea for the app after British relatives came over for a visit.

No doubt they were either terrified of what they might find or were shocked when they stumbled across a harmless Huntsman spider and thought it would devour them whole.

Advert

Nic says the more people use the app, the stronger it will become in detecting different types of snakes and spiders.

"The intent is to form (consensual) user generated images into datasets of all animals and to extend our AI training with the team to eventually include many more species," he said.

Featured Image Credit: CISRO

Topics: News, Technology, Animals, Australia

Stewart Perrie
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

News

Dominic Cummings Releases WhatsApp Messages Appearing To Show Boris Johnson Calling Matt Hancock 'Hopeless'

a day ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

News

JD Wetherspoon Pub Receives Negative Reviews After Kicking Out Two Women For 'Inappropriate' Tops

5 hours ago