Computer-based species identification: DOES IT WORK?

Mike Dallwitz miked at ENTO.CSIRO.AU
Wed Dec 11 12:43:35 CST 1996

                                                            11 December 1996

> From: Peter Scott <peter at>
> To: DELTA User Support <delta at>
> Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 08:38:56 +0000

> One of the two main themes of the BSPP/SA meeting in Canterbury next week
> is "Computer-based species identification". There are 16 papers on the
> subject and 9 hands-on demonstrations of systems.

> Reading the abstracts (through, even though I am
> involved myself, I get a feeling that we are being technology-driven. Is
> there evidence that this is a job that computers can really help us to
> *do*?

> It is 21 years since the 1975 Symposium on "Biological identification with
> computers"! We experts have been greatly stimulated by the achievement of
> making computers capable of doing identifications. How many non-experts
> are using the systems to help with this job? And how many experts are
> merely trying them out because it is satisfying to see that a computer can
> be trained to do the job?

> Peter

> [This contribution to the BSPPLIST Discussion Group is being copied to
> some other contributors to the Canterbury Conference whose e-mails I know.
> If you are not on BSPPLIST and want to contribute to this debate or see
> what others are saying, join the Group by sending an e-mail to
> bspplist-request at containing only the word SUBSCRIBE. Then, you
> will see what others are saying, and if you send a message to
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> details at]

> --
> Peter Scott
> Director, Information Institute, CAB INTERNATIONAL, Wallingford OX10 8DE,
> UK. Tel: +44 1491 832111. Fax: +44 1491 833508

> President, British Society for Plant Pathology

> Work: p.scott at
> Home: peter at

> *********************************************************************
> Information Technology in Plant Pathology and Systematics
> BSPP/SA Meeting, University of Kent, 16-19 December 1996
> *********************************************************************

Mike Dallwitz                                  Email md at
CSIRO Division of Entomology                   Fax +61 6 246 4000
GPO Box 1700, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia     Phone +61 6 246 4075

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