Easier access to "computer vision" in app

It would be nice to be able to use the “computer vision” without having to create an observation. A common process in the field for me is:

  1. I see a plant that I don’t know at all
  2. Take a few pictures with my phone, and try them in the computer vision to see what comes up.
  3. Use those suggestions to inform my identification (e.g. often the suggestions will give me the wrong species but in the right genus or family, and I can then use a key to identify to species)
  4. Use my proper camera to take photos that show all the necessary identification features, to upload to iNat later.

This is amazing. I can often quickly identify things that aren’t flowering, which is often nearly impossible otherwise. And even for things with flowers, I can often get a confident species identification in a minute or two, rather than taking forever to go through a giant key or flip through a field guide.

Maybe this is a super niche use. If so, it really shouldn’t be - I think this is now by far the best way to learn your plants as a beginner to intermediate level botanist. I rarely touch my plant field guides anymore except to browse at home.

Step two is currently pretty annoying (I have to create a new observation, and then switch the “primary photo” every time I want to try a new photo). And sometimes I’ll accidentally create useless observations with a bunch of photos of different species. It would be nice to just have a “computer vision” button to test any photo.

once I began to understand the utility of computer vision I began doing precisely what you are describing and would prefer your suggestion to the way it is now. I did this intuitively when my entire use of iNat was on the iphone app and still use the same process with much success in the field. if it is a niche, there’s two of us at least.


https://www.inaturalist.org/computer_vision_demo should suit your purposes, the only caveat being that you must be signed in to use it.

1 Like

You could also use the seek app though it doesn’t show anything unless it’s high certainty.


I’m going to close this, as there is a website option that can be bookmarked on a mobile phone, and I don’t believe we will add a computer ID that doesn’t lead to an observation option to the app.


FWIW the new “real time” computer vision in the new version of Seek provides pretty easy access to this requested feature in app form, though it only displays species level IDs when it’s pretty confident.

Demo video here: https://www.inaturalist.org/blog/23075-real-time-computer-vision-predictions-in-seek-by-inaturalist-version-2-0