An interesting note about this, because some people may not understand just how AI works in these cases. AI uses all information it can, and there is often information about a species ID in the surroundings, including other associated organisms and/or information about the habitat.
So what looks like “background” or “irrelevant other species obstructing the view” might actually be critically important ID clues.
I notice this factor operating both when the AI makes correct and incorrect ID’s. For example, if I take a photo that is clearly in a bottomland area and has a lot of moisture-loving species around, but I’m photographing a species that tends to prefer drier habitats, that just happens to be growing there, the AI is more likely to guess something outlandish that doesn’t even look like the plant in question. And it’s probably because it’s using the infromation about the background.
Another example would be when photographing insects on plants; insects have strong preferences of what types of plants they tend to be on, so the plant it is on is often key information.
Similarly sometimes I take a poor or blurry photo and the AI just gets it spot-on, and I think, there’s nowhere near enough information in the photo of the leaf or bark or buds itself, to discern. But then I realize that there are some other key indicator species in the background, and/or something very distinctive about the habitat, like a picture of exposed rocky soil or something else betraying the soil texture and/or moisture levels.
It’s fascinating because the way AI works is sort of like how our own brain works sometimes, like at least with the “associative” or “gut feeling” type reasoning.
Like when we go into a habitat we are not necessarily consciously aware of everything that we’re doing, but we often mentally filter out what sorts of species to check against based on the habitat and the other things around. Like I’ll be down in a swamp and see a sparrow, I start thinking to check against swamp sparrow, whereas when I’m in a city I’m surprised when I see anything that isn’t a house sparrow.
Not sure what the conclusions are from this, but…just be aware that the non-cropped material in the image may be more useful than you realize!