Artificial intelligence searches for a match for the “loneliest tree in the world”.

System artificial intelligence Hired to find a match for the rarest jungles designed to explore aerial photographs of African jungles. plant of the world known only from one specimen.

The goal of the research project is to save the Encephalartos woodii tree, which looks like a palm but isn’t, from extinction. It belongs to the “prehistoric” group of cycads and is believed to have appeared before the age of the dinosaurs.

To date, biologists have found only one representative of the species in nature, a female tree discovered in 1895 in the Ngoye forest of South Africa. Cuttings from this original plant were transplanted and yielded about 500 clones that are now kept in the botanic gardens

A new research program now uses artificial intelligence software to scan thousands of acres in the same forest and find other representatives.

“I was inspired by E. Woody’s story, which reminds me of a classic unrequited love story,” he said. BBC Coordinating efforts from the University of Southampton Dr. Laura Cindy.

“We use an image recognition algorithm to recognize plants based on their shape,” he said. Aerial photographs of the forest are collected by drone, and so far have covered only 2% of the 40,000 acres that are the focus of research.

“I hope there’s a female somewhere (…) It would be amazing if we could bring back this plant that’s so close to extinction,” Dr Cindy said.

Encephalartos woodii was named “the loneliest plant in the world” by the famous Kew Botanical Gardens in England, where clones of the only known representative are located.

Leave a Comment