We all know that bees are under threat from modern farming practices, but did we know about the Asian hornet, slowly spreading north through the united states of Europe closer and closer to the Land of Dragons (where I live) ? The Asian hornet is a voracious predator and will 'hawk' outside bee hives, swooping down on bees in flight on their home coming to feed their brood. Then, as the hive becomes more and more weakened due to diminishing bee numbers, the hornets will enter the hives and gobble up all the innocent youngsters inside.
So what do we do - give up with out a fight? Hell no .... We should fight back against this monstrous predator with everything that we've got! In this case we'll be using so called 'artificial intelligence' to 'infer' the location of the hornet and attempt to destroy it, preferably as dramatically as possible.
Since the hornets have not actually arrived here yet, I'll be attempting to train my machine on detecting the common European wasp, Vespula vulgaris, which also predates on the larvae of honey bees, but is not quite the threat that is the Asian hornet. Below is an Asian hornet hawking a honey bee:
One of the great things about this project is that anybody can get involved and no equipment is required other than your regular PC connected to the internet. This is because most of the work is involved with data processing such as processing images and creating labels. The data can then be uploaded onto the Amazon Web Service (AWS) for processing and nice looking graphs can be produced such as below:
Full instructions for using AWS and Nvidia DIGITS are given in the logs. NB. AWS do charge a range of fees for their service, but currently (2018) I can train networks in about 1.5 hours at $3.10 an hour with no flat rates, which is IMO cheap considering the equipment used to do this costs may 1,000s of dollars to buy.