Insect Identification

Ever come face-to-face with an insect that makes you pause? The diversity of insects is incredibly vast, and the majority of people are not able to identify species beyond the ones most common to their local area. The Insect Identification app, which debuted in 2018 by app developer Phuong Bui, allows users to snap a picture of their mystery insect and quickly get results about what the insect could be. The app has a massive database and information about species, which appear to mostly be gleaned from Wikipedia, and draws on AI to match the physical aspects of the snapped picture to the database. It then creates a results list ranked by possible match, and the app user can then make the final determination about what best matches the insect in question. The app also has a little section next to each suggestion with general information about the species, so in addition to learning about the insect, one can learn about their habitat, predators, and origins. It isn’t entirely clear what happens to a user’s data when they use the app, so there could be some privacy concerns; but the app appears to be highly rated, seemingly fulfilling its function in connecting people to nature and providing education.

“Insect Identification.” Apple. Accessed July 24, 2020.


Artificial Intelligence, Biodiversity, Citizen Science, Data, Ecological Monitoring, Internet of Things, Psychology, Visual Technologies