Seasons Greetings from Lucid
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Identification and Diagnostic Tools
Lucid December 2022 Newsletter


As a reader of this end of year Lucid newsletter, we hope that you have coped well with a year beset by Covid and by climate, economic, and political change. While the Lucid team has had some challenges, for the most part we have been as busy as usual, supporting our clients with developing and publishing their identification and diagnostic keys, and upgrading the Lucid Builder, Player, and Mobile platform. This year alone, our efforts for continual improvement and new features has resulted in the release of seven updates to Lucid v4.

The Lucid AI project, which we mentioned in our last newsletter, has finally reached the exciting stage where we are ready to open it to beta testing (more on this further below in the newsletter). As the developers of the Lucid key Environmental Weeds of Australia, we have been using the Lucid AI platform to create a Weed AI that will eventually be incorporated into the key, providing the best of both matrix key features and AI identification options. To date, our Weed AI can recognise over 235 weeds, with more being added every week. The initial focus has been on weeds of biosecurity importance, though the list is now being expanded to include the more common weeds users are likely to come across.

While the AI project has proved incredibly challenging, involving the development of a platform that allows anybody to easily create and deploy an AI without needing any expertise in AI, it has also been very rewarding in seeing the results. Whether the AI is integrated within a Lucid key, or used as a standalone tool, it will provide our end users more identification 'punch' than ever before. I particularly look forward to working with users to meet their expectations in this emerging technology, and to see the innovative projects and uses they come up with.

From the whole team we wish you all Season’s Greetings, and Best Wishes for the New Year. We look forward to working with you in 2023.


Matt Taylor

PS. We have a holiday special offer. Purchase Lucid v4 before the end of December and you will receive one year's free maintenance valued at $225 AUD. Use promo code: XMAS

Add Lucid v4 and Lucid v4 Maintenance to you shopping cart. Then add the promo code. The cost of the maintenance will be removed.

Lucid AI Update

As indicated above, the Lucid AI project has now reached the stage where we would welcome the involvement of a few users interested in creating an AI as beta-testers. Note that no AI expertise is required. The only requirements are that you have a list of taxa and associated images to train your AI, and a willingness to give feedback on your experience using the platform.

How it works

In simple terms, the purpose of the AI project is to define a list of entities (taxa) that the AI will learn to recognise. Next, a set of images, representing these entities, are uploaded and the images, or parts of the images, are annotated (labelled) with the entity name. In effect, you are telling the AI what it's 'looking at' when training it to recognise an entity.

Once these steps have been completed, it's simply a “button click” to start the automated training process, after which, you can immediately begin testing your AI to see how well it recognises the entities. It is well known that to train an effective AI you need lots of images that represent the entities you want it to recognise. Behind the scenes we automatically expand your image labelled regions with specially created synthetic images. This massively boosts the AI's training data set and can increase its recognition success by 25% or more. You can also use the trained AI to review its own training data set, to determine what edge cases it might have trouble recognising.

The AI can then be used as a stand-alone tool, via our web-based AI Navigator or mobile app. The Lucid Player (both the web and Lucid Mobile edition) will also have integration options.

If you are interested in beta testing the new Lucid AI platform and have an interesting project idea along with a set of images, please contact us at [email protected].

Example screen shots of the Lucid AI platform:

Latest keys

Key to Spider Subfamilies of Australia

By Robert Raven and Jenny Beard (Queensland Museum). Developed with support from the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS),  two keys have been developed for the two major subfamilies of Australian spiders, the Araneomorphae and Mygalomorphae. In some cases, these keys will identify down to a species but more usually it will only be to subfamily or genus.


A Key for Families of Dicotyledons

Clare Sheridan and Matthew Brookhouse - Australian National University (ANU)

This matrix identification key for plants within the class Dicotyledoneae, was developed using data stored in one of the punched card systems held in the ANU Xylarium and used for the identification of plant families based on botanical traits. This digital version of the punched card system not only preserves the original card data from 1964 but also simplifies and accelerates plant identification for field-based teaching and research.


A Series of diagnostic keys for diagnosing common pest problems in 8 vegetable crops in Wyoming

(Published by the University of Wyoming)

Each key provides a simple diagnostic tool for pests found in 8 specific crops, together with detailed information on the specific  pests and potential control measures. 


Fruit and Seed Family ID

Is a program for identifying (to family level) fruits and seeds that are intercepted by quarantine. Developed by the Identification Technology Program of the USDA, this first release - Fruit and Seed key to Monocot families  (Key | Fruit and Seed Family ID ( - focuses  on monocotyledon families, with all other seed plant families to follow.


Key fruit fly larvae of economic importance

Lucid mobile app - By Stellenbosch University Android:

This key adds to two other fruit fly keys recently released: ‘African fruit flies of economic importance’ and ‘Key fruit flies of importance to the European Union’.


Rice Doctor (Assam edition)

“GUWAHATI: “Rice Doctor”, is a Lucid Mobile app designed for diagnosing rice disorders that occur in Assam rice fields in India. A local language version (Assamese) provides help to farmers in diagnosing pest, disease, and other disorders in their paddy field and provide information on possible remedial measures. This version of Rice Doctor has been developed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in collaboration with Assam Agricultural University (AAU) under the aegis of the Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART).”

101 Forest Fungi of Eastern Australia

This early lucid key from 1999, original released on CDROM is currently being updated into Lucid v4 and will be release on-line soon – Supported by Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS).


Software Updates

Lucid v4

Lucid v4 

Another Lucid update was posted several days ago (v4.0.28 20221123). This incorporates some new features and bug fixes. Download the new version if you haven't already done so at: 

Download (login required) via:


To see the release details, visit:

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