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What's so great about an AI solution?

AI solutions are fast. In the case of marine mammal detection, this means saving experts’ time for bigger fish — it also means getting the scale of marine mammal monitoring to a place it's never been before. As new and cheaper data acquisition methods proliferate, fast, accurate data analysis is the tightest bottleneck in achieving truly impactful conservation and mitigation efforts.


AI solutions can learn. When the data changes, the algorithm can change to match it. For a problem as complicated as detecting marine mammals in noisy and variable oceanic environments, AI is the only automated tool that’s up to the task.


AI solutions make the most of the data available. Manual detection of marine mammals from aerial imagery has a ceiling not just for speed and cost-effectiveness, but also for accuracy.


At Whale Seeker, we see the potential of computer vision to break through that ceiling, allowing for higher-accuracy detection than human labellers can provide. AI solutions are consistent. No more inter-rater difference, no more post-lunch slumps: AI doesn’t get tired.

Can you just hand me an AI solution and be on your way? Why do I have to pay regularly?

Using Whale Seeker means having access to a kick-ass algorithm, enabled in part by the size and diversity of the training data we have. By working with us, you’re teaming up to create a more accurate and flexible tool than either of us could have built on our own.

One-off, or “turnkey” solutions are more costly than you might think: while they may be cheaper at first, the costs of storing data and maintaining code add up.

Whale Seeker doesn’t stop at upkeep. We’ve always got our ears perked for exciting new developments in AI and computer vision, so our customers have access to algorithms that are always improving.

Whale Seeker stores your data in the cloud, on Canadian soil (or wherever you need your data to be housed to stay compliant with your regulations and preferences).

Is my data safe when processed via AI?

Yes - after you send us your data we save it to our cloud, where it is only accessible under strict user access policies - only people that need to look at the data have access to it. We follow the Canadian Cyber Security Guidelines and regularly review our internal policies with regards to cybersecurity.

I know AI’s not all fairy-tales and unicorns... come on, give me the dirt.

AI algorithms can be expensive to train. While getting an algorithm up and running is cheap, achieving the kind of accuracy that reaps the benefits described above takes server time, which is not cheap. By training the core detection algorithm once, then fine-tuning for specific detection contexts (location, weather, species), Whale Seeker can help you avoid carrying the hardware costs associated with machine learning.

Crap in, crap out: AI algorithms are only as good as the labelled data they’re trained with. We can’t argue with that one. That’s why Whale Seeker trains its algorithms using only data labelled by expert biologists, with thousands of hours of experience with visual marine mammal detection.

The sheer volume of data required to train AI is out of reach for many small players. Fragmented data is a major challenge for leveraging new advances in AI. That’s why Whale Seeker is pooling the data of consenting parties into a single, massive training dataset that covers a diversity of species, contexts, and acquisition strategies — all while keeping their data secure against third parties, and anonymized.

Data drift: if the algorithm is tied to the data, won’t it stop working when the data changes? The acquisition strategies for marine mammal detection are in constant flux — as are the oceans where they live. That’s why Whale Seeker is always re-training its algorithms, so that they’re fine-tuned to the data at hand — not the data they were trained for five years ago.

Isn’t storing that much data expensive?

That’s why Whale Seeker uses cloud storage techniques that are cost-effective, secure, and easily accessible.

Is my data safely stored?

Electronic data storage always carries risks, and those risks evolve over time. We stay on top of the latest precautions for data security and integrity, so you don’t have to. Your data will be encrypted while it’s stored in the cloud — as well as during downloads and uploads.

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