The web site is the brainchild of Vadavalli-based Theivaprakasham Hari, who’s pursuing an MTech in Data Science at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. “I wanted to develop an application for easy identification of butterflies in 2012 after finishing Class XII. I used to participate in butterfly walks. Those days, we did not even have a database of butterflies and were referring Kerala’s database, expensive books and depending on experts. I wanted to make the identification process easy for the common man,” Theivaprakasham, who can be the secretary of the Nature and Butterfly Society (TNBS), informed TOI.
It took him seven years to gather images of assorted species of butterflies and make the web site powered by synthetic intelligence (AI). “I took as many as 1.5 lakh photographs of butterflies based on parameters such as life stages and seasonal forms from various angles. I also sourced close to 25,000 photographs from butterfly enthusiasts. The photographs were used to train the AI. I launched the site last November”
The AI can determine 340 butterfly species discovered within the southern components of the nation with 95% accuracy.
Theivaprakasham is now growing an app that may determine butterflies even in offline mode. “The application will be launched for Android and iOS within a couple of months. It will provide details like description, host plant and habitats.”
The web site was used for a number of surveys, together with the one performed in collaboration with the forest division within the Sathyamangalam forest vary. “After the website was launched, people contributed over 500 photos of butterflies. I need more photos to increase accuracy,” Theivaprakasham added.