Scientists are using AI to find invasive species of plants, including the scourge of British homes and gardens: Japanese knotweed.
The bamboo-like plant has been ravaging European roads, railways, and building foundations since explorer Philipp Franz von Siebold brought it to the continent in the mid-19th century. Unbeknownst to Siebold, the perennial weed would become “indisputably the UK‘s most aggressive, destructive and invasive plant,” according to the Environment Agency.
The fearsome plant can reduce a property’s value by 10% and cause road closures when it’s spotted on highways. It’s also notoriously time-consuming and expensive to find. A pair of