SYDNEY, November 23 (Xinhua) – Artificial intelligence technology that digitally identifies plants and animals suspected of being biosecurity threats can form a powerful tool to keep Australia safe from pests, species and other invasive diseases, according to the latest research.
Researchers at Murdoch University are working on a large project to identify biosecurity risks in seconds, with significant savings of time and money, local media reported on Friday.
"Artificial intelligence now comes to the point where it is very fast and very accurate," Professor Simon McKirdy of the university told the ABC news channel.
"This can be a triage tool that is very effective for us in checking samples in the field and in the laboratory," he said.
"We take the face recognition process and apply it to other organisms, whether they are mice, geckos or insects."
"It began to identify certain features of different animals and plants that we as humans would not always take as a distinguishing point."
The latest software is learning new information and adapting to impressive speeds, helping biosecurity specialists instead of replacing it, reporting the channel.
For example, if the screen is 100 images, it will triage and return and say "We really think there are four images here that human experts need to see," McKirdy said.
"Then human experts can spend more time making sure they get the right answers to the diagnosis."
This latest study is in line with a national initiative involving more than 300 million Australian dollars (US $ 217.6 million) invested to strengthen biosecurity measures over the next five years.
The first artificial intelligence technology can be launched at airport checkpoints and border crossings, McKirdy said.
"Our goal is to get this to the point where we can see biosecurity officers on the border, on the ground, or even farmers who are in a position where it can be an application on the telephone that allows them to take good pictures," he said.
"Then in almost real time they can get a response from the system that there is a good chance this is a pest of concern or not."