Engineers Tackle Elephant Identification Software

Engineers realize,before digital technology, it was more of a task to keep track of identified elephants. After digital technology, pictures were automatically saved and dated. Digital technology increased the volume of information across disciplines and worldwide, and animal behavior research is no exception. Now that this is the standard, what does it look like for scientists seeking to ID elephants now? Artificial Intelligence offers a solution. Engineers have created a program that uses facial recognition to identify elephants. The program uses an algorithm that takes thousands of measurements from images and learns what facial measurements are unique to an individual elephant. This would be the ideal program to keep track of identified elephants. It uses measurements which are exact, solving the problem of subjective characteristics. A user will enter a photograph and the program will return possible matches, similar to the digital database. 

To aid recognition of identified elephants, Engineers developed a database consisting of a portion of the identified elephants photographed within the last 8 years.  Coded images with the distinguishing characteristics that were used to make written identity cards–the same ear holes and rips, tusk shape, and tail features. The program is supposed to work this way: a person wanting to know who an elephant is enters a series of features and the program will return a series of likely matches. In practice, the program has similar issues that manual identification has i.e. the subjectivity and inexact nature of character identification.

Scientist who are currently studying the elephant project is to understand the animals’ infrasonic communication, or rumbles. Having the knowledge of who is making the calls is key information. But since these researchers have not spent decades among elephants are not immediately familiar, and they cannot identify them on sight as was previously done.   

As time goes by more and more data can be added to this software to help locate, track and identify more Elephants to aid in many aspects of the Elephant populations. Hopefully, it will help with Elephant health and possibly poaching, keeping track of when and where certain Elephants were at last identification.

We do not want these Smart,  Humble,  and Beautiful Creatures to disappear from our planet. 



Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.