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Google has devised a competition to develop technology to identify birdcalls | by Tapaan Chauhan | Jul, 2020


What is this competition?

Tapaan Chauhan

In partnership with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Google has devised a competition. It bioacoustics team has announced the said competition, to use machine learning to identify birdcalls. It calls for data analysts and aspiring engineers to devise a program, that’ll help identify birds. The winner will receive a cash prize of $12,000. The runners up will get $8000 and $5000 respectively. The competition is due in September and will take place in Kaggle. Kaggle is a digital hub for data science competition, having a user base of around 400 million users.

Google explained in its blog that it is looking for new technology to identify birdcalls. There are millions of birds that occur in nature. Because of their food chain ranking, they can detect pollution.

They can sense loopholes in species ranked lower to them in the food chain. They are the first to detect chemical pollutants in the air or potential threats to the environment. Henceforth, Google is trying to develop an AI model that would detect chirps and identify the species.

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Why is the purpose necessary?

As birds can detect environmental threats, developing such technology will aid researchers. They can easily analyze the ecological health of a particular area.

The machines can identify birdcalls and detect the species, in turn helping the researchers calculate the bird population. By analyzing the bird population in a region, they can predict environmental threats and status.

Voice technology is the main protagonist in this whole scenario. It is through this technology that Artificial Intelligence models will identify birdcalls. Birds are everywhere around us, but we tend to ‘hear’ birds more than see them.

Google is planning to work this to the advantage of environmentalists and researches. From a given soundscape, the machines will be able to detect the species.

This competition’s goal is similar to Google’s Voice Match feature. With the help of Voice Match, Google Assistant can figure out the speaker. It can help switch accounts based on Voice. Google has been developing this technology and even planning to launch a pilot program. Voice will work as an identity Card for speakers.

They can perform transactions, payments, etc by just speaking to Google Assistant. Google Assistant will then detect their voice and switch to their personal account.

Kaggle is a digital hub having millions of users. Any aspiring machine learning programmer or nature lover can take their shot at this contest. The competition will go on till 2nd September. Although they do support healthy competition, they admire teamwork. People can work in teams of 8 members.

Changes can be made to the team members until the deadline. Overall it’s a collaborative yet competitive approach to develop voice technology. With attractive prizes worth $25000, it’s a win-win situation. You can either bag the prize, or treat yourself with a wholesome learning experience!

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