AI That Counts And Identifies Wildlife Could Be A Game-changer For Ecologists
“Despite how much they know about the natural world, ecologists and wildlife experts sit atop a treasure trove of unexamined information. They’re collecting a ton or data about the natural world, but it’s incredibly daunting (and, often, very tedious) to go through it all and figure out what it means.
One way they’re collecting data: Motion-capture cameras. They’re set up in the wild and are taking millions of photos of animals doing, well, animal things in their natural habitats. Once analyzed, they could reveal undiscovered patterns of behavior, or show us how to better protect the environment. But for the most part, we can’t be more specific about what those “animal things” are, because it takes people thousands of mind-numbing hours to sort through and analyze all of these photos.
Now, though, we might find out the lessons from those snapshots. Using an artificial intelligence system, scientists found a way to automate the whole process — their algorithm can recognize 48 different animal species and determine what that animal is doing in each photo, according to new research published in PNAS…”
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