Visualizing the future brings mental images of eyewear that can identify any object in our line of vision, and this project may be a first step to that. AI has learned how to identify plants, albeit flattened and dried, from large databases of plants, databases that are getting bigger and bigger.

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Imagine that your job is to look out a small window all day, every day and count fish that swim by. Not only that, you have to identify the fish species and its size. Fortunately for bored fish counters, there’s now an AI for that.

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When it costs a chunk of change to hire an aircraft in order to spy on the oceans for the vulnerable dugong (essentially a manatee with a split tail), these researchers decide to let drones do the work for them. They send the drones to take pictures of the Australian oceans in search of dugong. But in next steps, identifying dugong in the hundreds of returned photos can be a maddening monotonous task. This is where AI does the heavy lifting and helps flag pictures with dugong for the researchers.

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Venice always conjures up mental images of romantic gondolas that glide through calm passageways in a charmed city. What probably doesn’t come to mind during this mental movie is robotic fish, the newest addition to local daily life. The robotic fish, along with robotic “mussels” and “lily pads” are capturing data on Venice’s watery ecosystem.

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