The Seek App: Does it work like the suggestions on the web page?

I just started using the iNat app and the website this summer. A couple of people have told me about the Seek app. I have looked at the description on the Google Play Store.

I was wondering if it works the same way the website works. When I upload an image and click on the field to enter a possible identification, I get a list of suggestions. Is that what happens with the Seek app?

If there are any iNat developers reading this who helped create the code for that suggestions feature, it would be cool to hear about it. I am guessing that it is some kind of image search/recognition software.

If you’re not against making you data available for scientists or just other users then I’d like to encourage you to stay on iNat.
As I know Seek AI is the same as iNat’s one. If you want to read about it I remember some posts about AI from developers’ perspective, but it was long ago.

I found the Seek app to work pretty slowly and the suggested IDs were, IMO, less reliable than iNaturalist. Seek is good for for users who need to protect their usage and identity from the community, like younger children.


Thanks for the replies.

I really enjoy watching the iNat web page come up with suggestions for what photos I upload. It is amazing technology.

After a little bit of searching I found a web page by iNaturalist explaining more about Seek that they developed. Apparently it was made for children and families. That’s a good idea to not share the findings so they can feel safe. Here is a quote from that web page:

“Seek also uses data submitted to iNaturalist to show suggestions for “species nearby,” but unlike iNaturalist, findings made with Seek will not be shared publicly, making it safe for children to use.”

I really don’t care about making an identification in the field. I was just interested in learning more about that app. I am more interested in taking sharp, clear photos with my camera (not my phone) so that I can upload them later to iNaturalist. I originally got involved with iNat for a state dragonfly survey here in Ohio. There are plenty of actual people who can help me with an identification. But, that technology is really cool.

Here is the link to that web page. It does explain some of the development process.,animals%2C%20or%20garden%20plants).


Seek was developed by the INaturalist coders to be a way to get kids and beginner naturalists outside. That is what I heard at least. I used Seek at first, from May 2nd to May 9th. From my knowledge, I believe Seek uses the first option to narrow it down. The only reason I know this exists is this observation.

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