A growing number of new products allow anyone to apply artificial intelligence without having to write a line of computer code. Proponents believe the “no-code” movement will change the world.
Sean Cusack, a software engineer at Microsoft and beekeeper on the side, wanted to know if anything besides bees was going into his hives. So he built a tiny photo booth (a sort of bee vestibule) that took pictures whenever something appeared around it. But sorting through thousands of insect portraits proved tedious.
Colleagues told him about a new product that the company was working on called Lobe.ai, which allows anybody to train a computer-vision system to recognize objects. Mr. Cusack used it to identify his honeybees — but also to keep an eye out for the dreaded Asian murder hornet.
“It was just really simple,” Mr. Cusack said, adding that the underlying data science was “over my head,” despite his title. The Lobe platform allowed him to drag and drop sample photos and click a few buttons to make a system that could recognize his beloved bees and spot unwelcome visitors.