Facial recognition app developed for cows – Wichita, Kansas

Wichita, Kansas 2021-09-21 00:26:53 –

Manhattan, Kansas (KSNW) – Kansas City-based company Black Hereford Holdings, LLC contacted K-State professor KC Olson almost two years ago about a cow facial recognition app.

“I didn’t really think about applications in the livestock industry, but the idea was really interesting,” Olson said.

Olson, along with a team of K-State Research and Extension staff, provided a proof of concept for the app in 2019.

“I was fortunate enough to bring together some really talented colleagues from the animal sciences, veterinary and computer science departments,” Olson said.

According to Olson, the team initially thought they needed to approach the app in the same way they developed human facial recognition.

“We took this to our computer science colleagues. They smiled a bit and said,” Well, we’ve really made progress beyond that now, and we’re in the form of AI, not math. I think we can do this very quickly with modeling a kind of approach to the head, “Alson said.

A few months after the proof of concept was completed, Black Hereford Holdings launched Cattle Tracs in January 2021. This is an app that uses artificial intelligence to learn and “remember” the faces of individual cows.

“Only the GPS coordinates and date the photo was taken pass with the photo,” Olson said.

Scarlett Hagins of the Kansas Livestock Association states that these coordinates can be used for contact tracing. This is an important tool for the state’s top agricultural industry.

“We are talking about 6.5 million cows in the state. This is twice as many people as in the state. Therefore, any kind of technology that makes it possible, like this facial recognition technology, is a farmer or ranch. It’s very important to the Lord, “says Hagins.

As the cow database grows, the app will be able to track the entire lifespan of cows in the system, Olson said.

“Their age, origin, all kinds of health treatments they have taken, and whether they are eligible for natural, organic, value-added markets, etc.,” Olson said.

According to Olson, another future update includes a high-speed photography platform that is better suited for use in areas where animals are more concentrated.

“A feedlot that accepts new truck loads and truck loads every day can be a bit of a hassle, so we’re currently working with another company to develop a high-speed, impact-resistant automated photography platform. “Olson said.

According to Olson, 70,000 cows have been added to the database, but not enough to guarantee future updates.

“For AI to mature and maximize predictability and accuracy, we need 500,000,” Olson said.

For more information, please visit the K-State Research and Extension website. here..

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