Our Blog: The Humankind of AI

We write to inform, share, and consider. We exist to build a brighter world for future generations through novel applications of machine learning and AI: humbled by our responsibility to be ethical participants. We hope you learn more about who we are, what we're writing about, and AI's impact on humankind.

Computer Vision to Identify Aquatic Macroinvertebrates & Evaluate Water Quality

This blog post features an image of a mayfly: a type of aquatic insect belonging to the order Ephemeroptera. Mayflies are found near freshwater sources, such as rivers and streams, and play an important role in the ecosystem as indicators of water quality. One way to measure water quality is the Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) index, which uses the diversity and abundance of these aquatic insects, including mayflies, as a metric. High EPT values indicate a healthy ecosystem, while low values may indicate pollution or other issues.

by Stephen Sklarew, CEO & Co-Founder of Synaptiq

If you know me as the CEO & Co-Founder of Synaptiq, you may be surprised to learn that I studied entomology as an undergraduate and graduate. Entomology, or the scientific study of  insects, appeals to my appreciation for the natural world — an appreciation that today informs my work as head of an AI company

Synaptiq’s purpose is to build a brighter world for future generations with novel applications of machine learning and AI. We believe that “intelligent” technology is powerful because it can accelerate positive change, particularly change that is difficult or cost-prohibitive to achieve manually. As a trained entomologist, I have an eye for “the little things” in life. I spend much of my time considering details that shape our lives while flying “below the radar,” such as solutions to problems that may not be individually notable but are hugely impactful in their totality.

I’m excited to share one such concept with you today: computer vision to identify and count macroinvertebrates (“bugs”) for evaluating water quality. This idea combines my passion for entomology with the AI expertise of our team at Synaptiq.

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