Australia has a rep for being home to deadly critters but a new app, dubbed the ‘Shazam’ for Aussie spiders and snakes, is set to help us figure out whether one is a harmless friend or deadly foe.
The new app, called Critterpedia, will help users identify which of the 170 species of snakes or 2,000 species of spider is crawling around their house or backyard.
After you take a photo of the critter in question using the app, a trained algorithmic system will pull up information on it, including whether it’s dangerous.
The app was developed in collaboration with the CSIRO’s technology lab, Data61, and plans to help educate people, businesses and the government on ways to interact with Australia’s deadly but loved reptiles and arachnids.
“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,” Dr Matt Adcock, project lead and Data61 researcher, said in a media release.
“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.”
“The AI platform we are developing for the Critterpedia system considers not only these images, but also additional information, such as GPS location.”
Obviously, it’s not advisable to get close to a snake or a potentially deadly spider but if a quick snap is possible from a safe distance, it can help people make more informed decisions.
The app’s not been fully released but those eager to identify their ceiling corner pets can sign up to be a phase one tester.
Now, you’ll be able to tell whether that eight-legged pal you’ve been eyeing for weeks is going to harm you or not.