The Harry Butler Institute, Murdoch University, is tasked with protecting the environmental security of Barrow Island, a nature reserve, from invasive species. Globally managing invasive species can have a crippling effect on economies, cost billions of dollars and take several years to bring under control. The whole process of identifying a single threat specimen on Barrow Island can take taxonomists at the Harry Butler Institute several days of work. Therefore, the institute needed a solution that would help with the identification of suspected biosecurity threat species with speed and scale.
The Harry Butler Institute conducted testing on a small data-set of threat species images with the IBM PowerAI Vision software on IBM Power Systems AC922. Within a few months it was able to get 98% confidence in its assessments. AI technology for image recognition helped reduce the identification of invasive species from several days to just seconds with high levels of accuracy. The institute also extended the use of the technology and developed an app where people can submit images of potentially invasive species for analysis.