July 15, 2024


The Joy of Technology

Pandas’ furry faces make it hard for scientists to tell them apart. AI facial recognition might help change that.

Pandas’ furry faces make it hard for scientists to tell them apart. AI facial recognition might help change that.


They’re widely loved for their plumpness and clumsy antics, but huge pandas deficiency distinguishable facial functions, creating it tricky for experts and keepers to notify them aside and consequently hold monitor of them.

Now researchers at the Chengdu Research Base of Large Panda Breeding in China have pioneered new technological know-how that works by using synthetic intelligence to identify the creatures, permitting them to keep an eye on the animals both equally inside the sanctuary and in the wild.

Facial recognition technology employed on humans and other animals this kind of as chimpanzees is not nuanced sufficient to establish the giant pandas, which are thought of a nationwide symbol of China.

“They absence a distinguishable organic attribute,” Chen Peng, a researcher at the Chengdu base, informed NBC Information in early July. This is owing in portion simply because of their furry faces and lack of facial expressions.

Panda identification is becoming easier thanks to a developing databases of photos and films that have been analyzed in current decades to detect slight differences amongst the animals. Improved recognizing unique pandas — and hence superior knowing panda populations — can assistance with conservation, researchers say.

The use of AI engineering can also minimize the human time and labor expected to study the pandas, who primarily reside on your own and are scattered all over broad bamboo forests.

Pandas’ furry faces make it hard for scientists to tell them apart. AI facial recognition might help change that.
Facial recognition samples from the Chengdu Investigate Base of Big Panda Breeding in China.Chen Peng / Chengdu Investigation Base of Giant Panda Breeding

Above 200,000 photographs and 10 terabytes of video data have been gathered from over 600 pandas, both dwelling and deceased, at the Chengdu investigate foundation so significantly.

Given that giant pandas largely try to eat and slumber, trying to keep tabs on them is far from thrilling.

On the other hand, that could very well be the attraction for the tens of millions of individuals across the planet who tune into the research base’s on the internet system to notice the animals.

The livestream experienced more than 68.5 million followers as of early July, with the significant greater part seeing from the U.S., followed by Japan and Britain.

Many pandas have their personal devoted enthusiast groups, built easier with a facial recognition application for pandas produced with details from the AI databases.

Zhan Zilin, 5, frequented the Chengdu enclosure in early July to see her preferred panda, Dudu. “I adore pandas due to the fact they are so cute,” she said.

Chen reported his group was doing work to broaden the tracking know-how to monitor other endangered species in the wild.

“We would like to utilize related AI engineering to the clever checking of animals,” he stated.

China has produced important progress in huge panda conservation, with officers reclassifying the formerly endangered species as “vulnerable” last yr.

More than 600 are living in captivity all-around the globe, while close to 1,800 reside in the wild.

“We are all silently guarding them,” Chen reported.


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