Washington: New AI software will now help wildlife conservationists to recognise individual faces of chimpanzees further helping them by saving time and resources, claim researchers. “For species like chimpanzees, which have complex social lives and live for many years, getting snapshots of their behaviour from short-term field research can only tell us so much,” said Dan Schofield, researcher and DPhil student at Oxford University’s Primate Models Lab, School of Anthropology.
“By harnessing the power of machine learning to unlock large video archives, it makes it feasible to measure behaviour over the long term, for example observing how the social interactions of a group change over several generations,” continued Schofield in the study.
The computer model was trained using over 10 million images from Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute (PRI) video archive of wild chimpanzees in Guinea, West Africa. The new software is the first to continuously track and recognise individuals in a wide range of poses, performing with high accuracy in difficult conditions such as low lighting, poor image quality, and motion blur. The technology has the potential for many uses, such as monitoring species for conservation. Although the current application focused on chimpanzees, the software provided could be applied to other species and helps drive the adoption of artificial intelligence systems to solve a range of problems in the wildlife sciences.