Dr. Janaki R.R. Alavalapati, Dean
School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences
3301 Forestry and Wildlife Building
602 Duncan Drive
Auburn, Alabama 36849-3418
Andrew Durso, Ph.D., “Crowd-sourcing and artificial intelligence for snake identification”
Join the seminar via Zoom at: https://auburn.zoom.us/j/89065627233?pwd=YmtxZGRRWkgwUTRQK3ZXb2UyU3VGZz09
Snakebite is a neglected tropical disease, annually responsible for >100,000 human deaths & >400,000 victims of disability globally. It disproportionately affects poor & rural communities in developing countries, which also have high snake diversity & limited access to antivenom. Antivenom can be life-saving when correctly administered but administration often depends on the correct identification of the biting snake. Snake identification is challenging due to snake diversity & potentially incomplete or misleading information provided to clinicians by snakebite victims or bystanders. Clinicians do not necessarily have enough knowledge or resources in herpetology to identify a snake from a carcass or photo. We collected a massive global repository of photos of snakes from various sources, which is used in the above experiments, and used the images to measure the accuracy of crowd-sourcing and computer vision at identifying snakes, with the goal of building the first medical decision-support mobile app for snake identification based on artificial intelligence (AI) & remote collaborative expertise. We anticipate that this tool can reduce potentially erroneous or delayed healthcare actions, as well as increase knowledge about snake identification and help collect basic information about snake distribution and activity patterns and promote snake conservation.
Andrew Durso was born in New York and grew up in North Carolina. He is a snake biologist with a focus on population and community ecology of snakes, who earned a B.S. from University of Georgia, M.S. from Eastern Illinois University, and Ph.D. from Utah State University. He was based in Jena, Germany, and Geneva, Switzerland from 2016-2019, where he helped develop crowd-sourced and artificial intelligence approaches to snake identification with a goal of improving snake identification tools for doctors and patients in snakebite cases worldwide. Andrew joined the faculty at Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, Florida, in January 2020.