Ok Google! Talk to my Tulip! Read till the end to know if it is certainly true?
Do you agree that flowers are difficult to talk to and strike a conversation? You share with them all about your day, read poetry, complain about your pizza, politics and what not, but all they seem to do is stand there without any visible reaction!
Google as every time, heard its users! Decoding plants language has been a challenge since several decades, well not anymore! Google Tulip is a breakthrough in communications, letting humans communicate with plants, Tulips to begin with! This is all developed using Advanced Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence on Google Cloud Platform. This ML product is being developed to improve the profits of Dutch farmers who are estimated to product around 12.5 billion tulips per year!
Google Home is now able to understand tulips, allowing translation between Tulipish and dozens of human languages.
Aha, How did they do it?
Generally, many people objectify tulips by just displaying them in vases at home or offices, disconnected from roots that play a major role in their daily lives. As always, Google believed in organizing the world’s information, and they found the information hidden in the Tulip’s root system appealing!
Through their collaboration with Wageningen University & Research and libraries of past audio files, they have digitized flower communications over the centuries and built a machine learning engine to identify what the tulips are communicating.
Research studies have shown that tulips use their root system to communicate with other tulips and share resources.
Famously, a little red tulip was able to plug a leak in the seawall that protects Holland, thanks to the early warning system perfected by the network of roots that stretches all across the Netherlands.
After two years of development and training, they finally made it! They have added Tulipish as a language to the Google Home’s recently introduced Interpreter mode. This was made possible using an advanced technology called Neural Machine Translation.
From a social perspective, the tulips have been found to be very talkative, and they make great friends. Also, they are excellent listeners, giving sound advice when listened to carefully.
Google Tulips is developed on Google Cloud Platform using several Google Cloud products like AutoML, App Engine, Dialogflow to simulate interaction with Tulip flowers.
Looking for more Technical Details? Read the Medium blog by Lak Lakshmanan (a Google employee). Link is available in the references below.
Google Tulip was only available on April 1, 2019. You could talk to your plants, simply by saying, “Hey Google, talk to my tulip.”
Why only April 1st? Probably an April Fool gag as they say!
Interesting? Want to do it Yourself?
You have a garden in the back-yard with lots of plants and flowers? Think you haven’t talked to them ever since they are planted? Ok, got you covered! Google released a Do It Yourself Kit on GitHub, where you can use this technology to simulate conversations with your plants. All of this is powered by Google Cloud.
- Build the code, and deploy it on Google App Engine Flex.
- Point your phone camera at a flower, and snap a picture.
- The Google Cloud AutoML Vision model, will detect your flower, and return the results on the screen.
- Hold the button and ask a question to Start the Conversation!
- https://www.blog.google/products/home/google-tulip/ – Official Google Announcement
- https://medium.com/google-cloud/google-tulip-the-technical-details-719c317bf2df – For Technical Details
- https://github.com/GoogleCloudPlatform/tulip – Do it yourself repository (not Officially Maintained by Google for production)