Saturday, February 1, 2020

Facial Recognition Tech Used for Animals, Too

Scientists studying chimpanzees or lions once used scrapbooks of photos to help recognize and memorize the faces of individuals.

Now, the same kind of facial recognition technology that has been used with humans is being used to identify and track animals in the wild. The technology was applied successfully to hours of video footage of a chimpanzee troop. The system was 92 percent accurate at identifying particular individuals. Humans were only 42 percent accurate at the same task.

Facial recognition systems are also being used for identifying cows, sheep, pigs, and other farm animals. The technology also tracks the health records of each animal to update their feeding, exercise and medication needs.

Conceivably such a system could be used to identify individual songbirds at your bird feeder or pigeons in the park. It could randomly give them names, and tell you the backstory of their migratory and mating histories. How would that change our view of animals in the wild?
New York Times: China’s Tech Firms Are Mapping Pig Faces
VOA: Facial Recognition Now Used to Identify and Follow Animals

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