flower-project1-2-1024x619When you’re out and you hear a song on the radio that catches your ear, you might turn to apps like Shazam or SoundHound to try and identify the song for you. That works great for songs, but what about nature? Sure, you might be able to identify a rose, a daisy, a cherry blossom, but what about the rest?

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Interestingly enough that’s something that Microsoft has been working on and in a post on the Microsoft Research blog, the Redmond company revealed that they have been working with Chinese botanists on a “flower recognition project”, which as our title implies, is basically like the Shazam for flowers.

Dubbed the Smart Flower Recognition System, Microsoft teamed up with botanists at the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IBCAS) to create the system. How this works is based on Microsoft’s image-recognition technology which when fed the 2.6 million images of flowers that have been kept by the IBCAS, allowed them to train a 20-layer convolutional neural network to identify flowers.

According to Zheping Xu, assistant director of IBCAS, “The flower-recognition engine enables domain experts to acquire plant distribution in China in an efficient way. Not only that, this engine can help ordinary people who have a strong interest in flowers to gain more knowledge.” The app doesn’t actually exist yet, but if and when they do release this engine, perhaps botany hobbyists might be interested in checking it out.

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