Science

Facial recognition software can now reportedly recognize bears

Melanie Clapham, a postdoctoral fellow and bear biologist, joined two silicon valley workers in San Jose, Ed Miller and Mary Nguyen, to create BearID, which monitors grizzly bears with a mug matching software. 

Bear ID is one of the several projects seeking to adopt facial recognition software in animals. Clapham explained that using artificial intelligence, the team was able to recognize 132 individual bears. 

Usually, scientists use RFID tags which are more expensive, short-lived, invasive, and risky. This software solves these problems. Scientists said that the individual monitoring of the bears helps in proper research and conservation while dealing with problems such as if the bear ate anything from garbage or attacked another animal.

The team gathered nearly 5,000 photos of bears that frequently visited Canada and Alaska and created data sets to teach the l software to find the specific furry faces of the bears. 

Joe Hoagland, a cattle rancher from Kansas, is developing an application called CattleTracs, set to launch next year. The app stores photos of the cows taken by the users in the online database with GPS coordinates. The subsequent photos of cows can be used to track the cattle overtime by modifying the photos taken by the users. 

This will be useful for disease management, Hoagland stated to CNN. Beef cattle have to pass through many people and places in their lives making it difficult to track the origin of diseases. 

Being able to trace that diseased animal, find its source, quarantine it, do contact tracing — all the things we’re talking about with coronavirus are things we can do with animals, too,” the rancher said.

ARTICLE: EJAZ SHAIKH

SCIENCE/HEALTH EDITOR: KYLE SMITH

PHOTO CREDITS: GETTY IMAGES

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