November 29, 2017: Prof. Berger-Wolf's Wildbook team helps lead a community effort in identifying whale sharks
Prof. Tanya Berger-Wolf is Director of the ongoing collaborative photo ID project Wildbook (formerly IBEIS), https://www.whaleshark.org/ which hass enabled the most comprehensive understanding of whale shark biology.

All this is done with Berger-Wolf's technology that has helped identify numerous wildlife http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-confidential-zebra-count-0319-biz-20150319-column.html.

The Wildbook project shows what is really possible when technology democratizes science and enables massive participation of citizen scientists and planet scale collaborations.

In addition to human participants, they have also started using an AI bot that finds public YouTube videos about whale sharks, which are then automatically identified (and the location and time is found using NLP). The AI agent then posts back a comment on the YouTube page and people engage with Wildbook's work through it.

Here is an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjJCOiWVaQk&feature=em-comments Since the beginning of the summer about 500 individuals were added to the database using the AI agent

And here is an excerpt from the recent New York Times article:

"A study published Wednesday in the journal BioScience catalogs human encounters with the whale shark in the last quarter-century. Scientists and tourists have recorded 30,000 encounters with 6,000 individual sharks in 54 countries around the world. The research ?has really advanced what we know about how whale sharks work and how they divide up the ocean,? said Alistair Dove, a co-author of the paper, and vice president of research and conservation at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, which has four whale sharks.

Researchers used a photo-identification library called Wildbook for Whale Sharks to catalog 20 hot spots around the world, including just off the coasts of Ningaloo in Western Australia; Cancun, Mexico; Mozambique; the Philippines and the Maldives, a group of atolls south of India.

The study is a collaboration of three dozen of the world?s top whale shark experts and thousands of citizen-scientists ? mostly snorkeling ecotourists who snap photographs and video as they swim alongside the behemoths.

Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/29/science/whale-sharks.html?_r=0











































 
Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees
of the University of Illinois.webmaster@cs.uic.edu
WISEST
Helping Women Faculty Advance
Funded by NSF