If I have been to say ‘facial recognition software program’ to you, you’d be forgiven for instantly occupied with social media corporations, governments protecting tabs on their residents, and common Massive-Brother-esque situations. However this can be a story of a barely extra uncommon use of the AI: counting not sheep, however puffins.
The Isle of Might is a small island located within the Firth of Forth Estuary on the East coast of Scotland. It’s tiny, solely a couple of mile lengthy by lower than half a mile large. As a nationwide nature reserve, no person lives on the island, however loads of sea birds, puffins and seals name it house.
Historically the one technique to preserve observe of the birds’ numbers was by sheer endurance. Rangers must sit and actually rely tens of 1000’s of Puffins, inspecting burrows and nests. However how did they not lose rely or ensure that they hadn’t counted the identical fowl twice?
Enter know-how and facial recognition AI. 4 cameras positioned in chrome steel bins have been arrange across the island. Every one has a condensation heater and captures reside footage of the birds. The footage is then saved and processed by the AI software program, which tracks every puffin body by body. Every particular person puffin will be adopted by the software program as it’s given a novel monitoring identifier.
The system was created and sponsored by SSE Renewables who run an area wind farm up the coast from the Island. They wished to maintain observe of the colony of birds and make sure that the wind farm wasn’t having an hostile impact on the flight paths and day after day habits of the puffins.
Round 80,000 puffins have been recorded final March on the island, and wildlife consultants are hoping that amassing information this fashion will finally be extra correct and fewer invasive and disturbing to the naturally shy creatures. Puffins are typically most lively round daybreak and nightfall, though it is determined by tide timetables and fishing circumstances.
[Via The Scotsman]