Accenture leverages AI and cloud to launch Internet of Birds (no, really!)

Credit: Freeman's Photos /

Accenture and the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) have collaborated on the development of a first-of-its-kind Internet of Birds platform that identifies bird species found in India using artificial intelligence technology, including machine learning and computer vision.

The cloud-based service uses an Accenture-created image recognition and deep learning platform to quickly and accurately identify bird species from digital photos that are uploaded by the public.

Accenture Labs in Bangalore provided pro-bono services to design and build the platform that leverages data from BNHS. The Internet of Birds platform, available to anyone, anywhere, for free, uses a unique citizen crowd sourcing approach to engage more people in bird watching by identifying key species of birds and inspiring an interest in nature conservation.

“We believe artificial intelligence has significant untapped potential to improve the way we work and live and were attracted to this project because it’s this kind of innovation and exploration that is needed to begin tackling big issues,” said Sanjay Podder, managing director, Accenture Labs, Bangalore.

Podder said the platform is an example of “how Accenture can apply its deep learning capabilities, which are part of our broader artificial intelligence business, to develop innovative technology solutions that can address business challenges.”

India is a biodiversity hotspot and is home to almost 12.5% of the world’s avifauna, consisting of 1,300 species. The Internet of Birds platform can initially identify approximately 100 species but will eventually support all species found in India.

“Birds are excellent indictors of their environment, providing ecological information based on when and where they’re located,” said Dr. Deepak Apte, director, BNHS. “With the rise of amateur bird watchers across India, we are happy to have Accenture help us capitalize on all the information they can capture. This helps us encourage citizen science by involving more people in nature conservation activities.”

The Internet of Birds platform can be accessed here.

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