Jan 27 2012

Learn a Bird, Teach a Computer

Published by at 7:20 am under Quiz

When you play today’s “quiz” you’ll be teaching a computer how to think.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is building a new interactive bird identification tool and they need your help.  In yesterday’s eNewsletter they wrote:

To help you identify birds online, the Cornell Lab’s web team is building a new tool called “Merlin.” Merlin will use artificial intelligence to ask questions and provide suggestions to help you identify what you saw. First, though, Merlin needs to know how people observe and describe birds. Help populate Merlin’s “brain” by trying Mark My Bird, an online activity that asks 18 questions about a species. Play as often as you like to help us build Merlin faster!

Mark My Bird looks like a quiz but it’s actually gathering data for Merlin’s brain.  It will show you a photo of a mystery bird but don’t worry, it’s going to identify that bird for you.  All you have to do is choose the bird’s group (or say Not Sure), then click on the bird’s body parts and checkmark the colors and patterns you see.

I tried it myself and it’s pretty cool. You can use it to quiz your own bird skills or identify the mystery bird.

Click here or on the screenshot to play Mark My Bird.  Teach the computer how to think!

(screenshot from Cornell Lab of Ornithology Mark My Bird interactive tool)

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Learn a Bird, Teach a Computer”

  1. Stephenon 27 Jan 2012 at 9:25 am

    Hmm. Interesting, but it didn’t identify my bird correctly. The picture was obviously a Junco, but it told me at the end that it was an Eastern Wood Pee-wee. And the call was that of a pee-wee.

    p.s. from Kate St. John: Here’s a screenshot of the mistake: Not Correct

  2. Kathyon 27 Jan 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I know we are falcon fans, but for those who are chomping at the bit for a new season to begin, I just checked in on the Decorah Bald Eagle nest and “someone” is home and sprucing things up for the new year.

    http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles

  3. Kathyon 27 Jan 2012 at 1:44 pm

    P.S. If you go to the website, click on the GSB Falcon site at the top of the page. There is a GREAT 20 min. video showing the banding of their “kids” from last season.

  4. Mary DeVon 27 Jan 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I think it got mine right — Ovenbird.

    Screenshot: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v185/VAdame/OvenbirdScreenshot.jpg

  5. Peteron 27 Jan 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Cool! I had a summer tanager my first time through. Now to go look them up and see if the colors are described as I saw them. I called it an orange, olive and grey bird. But it was almost red and almost yellow, like a goldfinch in the winter yellow, not their bright yellow sexy-times yellow.

  6. Michelle, Colorado Springs, COon 27 Jan 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I received this yesteday from Cornell Lab of Ornithology in my email and it’s fun. You can do it over and over and over again if you would like. :)

  7. John Englishon 27 Jan 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Cool. It got my song sparrow right. *chirp*

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