#CBC: “Farmers are utilizing AI to assist monitor cows ” #Toronto #Montreal #Calgary #Ottawa #Canada


Is the world prepared for cows armed with synthetic intelligence?

No time to ruminate on that as a result of the second has arrived, due to a Dutch firm that has married two applied sciences — movement sensors and AI — with the goal of bringing the barnyard into the 21st century.

The firm, Connecterra, has introduced its IDA system, or “The Intelligent Dairy Farmer’s Assistant,” to the United States after having piloted it in Europe for a number of years.

IDA makes use of a motion-sensing machine connected to a cow’s neck to transmit its actions to a program pushed by AI. The sensor knowledge, when aligned repeatedly with real-world behaviour, ultimately permits IDA to inform from knowledge alone when a cow is chewing cud, mendacity down, strolling, ingesting or consuming.

Those indicators can predict whether or not a specific cow is ailing, has change into much less productive, or is able to breed — alerting the farmer to modifications in behaviour that may in any other case be simply missed.

In this April 2, 2018 picture a Moocall machine is seen on the tail of a pregnant dairy cow on the Mackinson Dairy Farm in Pontiac, Ill. The machine displays the cow’s actions and can set off a textual content message to announce that the cow is about to present start. (Teresa Crawford/Associated Press)

“It would just be impossible for us to keep up with every animal on an individual basis,” says Richard Watson, one of many first 4 U.S. farmers to make use of IDA because it launched commercially in December.

Watson, who owns the Seven Oaks Dairy in Waynesboro, Georgia, says having a pc establish which cows in his 2,000-head herd want consideration might assist enhance farm productiveness as a lot as 10 %, which might imply a whole bunch of 1000’s of {dollars} to his household.

It seems the expertise farmers use is de facto outdated in lots of respects.– Yasir   Khokhar , founder and CEO of Connecterra

“If we can prove out that these advantages exist from using this technology … I think adoption of IDA across a broad range of farming systems, particularly large farming systems, would be a no-brainer,” Watson says.

Dairy farming is only one business benefiting from AI, which is being utilized in fields as numerous as journalism, manufacturing and self-driving vehicles. In agriculture, AI is being developed to estimate crop well being utilizing drone footage and parse out weed killer between rows of cotton.

Yasir Khokhar, the previous Microsoft worker who’s the founder and CEO of Connecterra, stated the inspiration for the thought got here after dwelling on a dairy farm south of Amsterdam.

“It turns out the technology farmers use is really outdated in many respects,” he says. “What does exist is very cumbersome to use, yet agriculture is one of those areas that desperately needs technology.”

Underlying IDA is Google’s open-source TensorFlow programming framework, which has helped unfold AI to many disciplines. It’s a language constructed on prime of the generally used Python code that helps join knowledge from textual content, photos, audio or sensors to neural networks — the algorithms that assist computer systems study. The language has been downloaded thousands and thousands of occasions and has about 1,400 individuals contributing code, solely 400 of whom work at Google, in keeping with product supervisor Sandeep Gupta.

Keeping a watch on the cows

He says TensorFlow can be utilized by individuals with solely high-school degree math and a few programming abilities.

“We’re continuing this journey making it easier and easier to use,” Gupta says.

In this undated picture offered by Google, an individual makes use of a cellphone to watch a cow’s IDA, or “The Intelligent Dairy Farmer’s Assistant” machine in a pasture. (Ben Sellon/Associated Press)

TensorFlow has been used to do every part from serving to NASA scientists discover planets utilizing the Kepler telescope, to aiding a tribe within the Amazon detect the sounds of unlawful deforestation, in keeping with Google spokesman Justin Burr.

Google hopes customers adapt the open-source code to find new functions that the corporate might sometime use in its personal enterprise.

Even with out AI, sensors are serving to farmers hold tabs on their herds.

Mary Mackinson Faber, a fifth-generation farmer on the Mackinson Dairy Farm close to Pontiac, Illinois, says a tool connected to a cow’s tail developed by Irish firm Moocall sends her a textual content when a cow is able to give start, so she will be there to verify nothing goes mistaken. Moocall does not use AI — it merely sends a textual content when a sure threshold of spinal contractions within the tail are exceeded.

While she calls it a “great tool,” she says it takes human instinct to do what’s proper for his or her animals.

“There are certain tasks that it can help with, and it can assist us, but I don’t think it will ever replace the human.”

Note: “Previously Published on: 2018-04-13 15:31:53, as ‘Farmers are utilizing AI to assist monitor cows

‘ on CBC RADIO-CANADA. Here is a supply hyperlink for the Article’s Image(s) and Content”.

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