AI could save the snow leopard species from extinction.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists this species as “extremely endangered,” with less than 4,000 people left in the wild. With AI, the species could be saved from extinction (AI)

The snow leopard is a big cat that lives in the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia, where it can be found. These beautiful cats can’t be studied because they live in remote areas and are very hard to find. To save the species, the Snow Leopard Trust group used traps and cameras to record more than one million images.

 

Suddenly, I hear a noise, and a snow leopard walks right in front of me. ‘How did you get so close to me without me knowing?’ He looked at me with big round eyes. They’re almost too sure that they can’t be seen. It was then that he turned around and ran away like a piece of ribbon. Koustubh Sharma, who works for the Snow Leopard Trust, said this:

 

However, those cameras use heat and motion sensors to find the traps. They also take pictures of other wild animals, not just leopards. In that case, think about how long it would take to manually sort through a hundred thousand pictures.

So AI comes in now. This process takes a lot longer than it should, but a new Microsoft AI tool is speeding it up. Microsoft News says that the algorithm is figuring out which photos are of snow leopards, and it can sort through hundreds of thousands of photos in just a few minutes.

Sharma said that snow leopards can take selfies when people take pictures of them in a particular area. You need to know where they are and how many there are to save them. But sometimes you end up with many pictures that aren’t important. “That’s where AI comes in.”

Engineers who are working on the project are hoping that soon, the technology will be able to figure out who these people are from these pictures. Is the snow leopard in Picture 1,240 the same snow leopard in Picture 1,000,240, or is there a difference?

I want to know how you put these two pictures together. In the beginning, it was a lot of work. As you get more images, it’s like adding more pieces to a 40k-piece puzzle. “We hope that deep learning can help us find people who might be a good match,” said Mark Hamilton, a Microsoft software engineer who worked on the model.

People who study snow leopards need information about them to help them. Because they need as many photos as they can get. Sharma: “We need to do more research.” “We can use AI to speed up figuring out how many snow leopards live around the world,” says the author.

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