Facial Recognition Technology Retooled for Nature

Facial recognition technology (FRT) is freaky and possibly more insidious than it is helpful. But what if it were applied to other uses— say connecting us to nature and the natural resources around us?

If FRT can identify an individual in a sea of faces, couldn’t it also identify a tree, butterfly, or flower? And by using our mobile phone’s Geo location capabilities, couldn’t the technology also gather broad or granular data on where specific flora and fauna are located or where they might be missing? Could artificial intelligence analyze trees and their environs for health, or by looking at tree and plant leaves, detect dangerous dry conditions that might lead to forest fires?

Earth Day is fast approaching, and it would be useful to have an app that enlists smart phone users to perform the role of our nation’s arborists and botanists.
Hello Arborator is a social media learning tool that uses identification matching to teach us about our amazing oxygen-producing and life-sustaining trees, plants, and perhaps animals too. At the same time, it provides invaluable information to environmental scientists, educators, and government agencies like the U.S. Forest Service that will propel good environmental stewardship and the important decision-making needed to sustain our planet.