With the help of citizen science volunteers, researchers are using artificial intelligence and computers to make scientific breakthroughs with these citizen science projects.
Working together, humans and computers can do great things. Humans and computers are safeguarding ecosystems, predicting hazards and diagnosing and treating deadly diseases. Here are just a few of our favorite human-computer partnerships that welcome your participation.
An App to Identify Species
Seek by iNaturalist is a mobile tool that does a remarkable job of identifying any organism, using powerful computer vision algorithms fueled by photos and identifications made by the global iNaturalist community. Simply download the app and start exploring plants and animals, earning badges and, optionally, sharing what you find back to the project to improve the algorithm.
Help Find a Treatment for Alzheimer’s with Stall Catchers
With the help of citizen scientists, the Stall Catchers project now has three research papers being completed for publication, all focused on new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. But there’s so much more to discover, and Stall Catchers is already pioneering new machine learning techniques in combination with the analysis of citizen scientists like you. By playing an online game, you can put your brainpower to work fighting a leading cause of death and disability.
Become a Genetic Detective
Help scientists study the evolution and function of DNA, RNA and protein sequences by optimizing genetic multiple sequence alignments, or MSAs. Fortunately for non-geneticists, the Phylo project abstracts the data into colored shapes and presents them in a game-like interface that anyone can play.
Help Track Whale Sharks and Other Animals
Wildbook blends structured wildlife research with artificial intelligence, citizen science and computer vision to speed population analysis and develop new insights to help fight extinction. The project identifies and tracks individual animals (such as whale sharks) using photos submitted by citizen scientists.
Improve Training With Space Fortress
Your activity on Space Fortress will help researchers learn about learning: how players preserve their gaming skills after periods of non-use. The results will be used for developing a model for optimizing training regimens for professionals across different industries, so that lessons will be provided just in time: not too early, not too late.
The Museum of Life + Science of Durham, NC is participating in the Citizen Science, Civics and Resilient Communities project with support from NOAA (SciStarter is a proud partner!). Join them for “Climate-Conscious Durham “– an attempt to promote dialogue, build resilience and empower understanding and engagement on climate-related issues in North Carolina. Explore the Museum of Life + Science’s page on SciStarter and sign up to attend a webinar about these topics on zoom.
Study Sea-Level Rise with the Museum of Science, Boston
The Museum of Science, Boston has an upcoming event with SciStarter that uses citizen science to investigate big problems: a webinar about sea-level rise (September 29). All are welcome! Check out the Museum of Science’s page on SciStarter to sign up for this event and to explore featured citizen science projects addressing climate hazards.
CitSci & Libraries: Advance Alzheimer’s Research Online Presentation and Q&A
Register for this event for an introduction to citizen science, to hear about libraries as hubs for citizen science, to learn about the All of Us Research program, and to discover how to participate in the Stall Catchers citizen science project through a presentation and online Q&A.
Looking for a science project to do with kids? These experiments go beyond the trivial and incorporate real-world scientific research. Discover them on the SciStarter blog.
About the Author
Bob Hirshon, President, Springtail Media LLC Bob Hirshon heads up Springtail Media, specializing in science media and digital entertainment. He is Principle Investigator for the NSF-supported National Park Science Challenge, an augmented reality adventure that takes place in National Parks. Hirshon headed up the Kinetic City family of science projects, including the Peabody Award winning children’s radio drama Kinetic City Super Crew, McGraw-Hill book series and Codie Award winning website and education program. Hirshon can be heard on XM/Sirius Radio’s Kids Place Live as “Bob the Science Slob,” sharing science news and answering children’s questions.