London Tech Week: Intel offers AI for poacher detection technology to save our wildlife
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London Tech Week: Intel offers AI for poacher detection technology to save our wildlife

Technology company Intel, best known for the processors and graphic images that power millions of computer equipment worldwide, does not only do computers. During London Tech Week in the UK, the technology company demonstrated its artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that help detect, identify and track poachers in forests. This is based on the Intel Movidius Myraid 2 vision processing unit (VPU) and controls the TrailGuard AI image processing and camera interference for cameras used by the non-governmental organization RESOLVE in the African forests.

RESOLVE has statistics to show that elephants, rhinos, gorillas, tigers, giraffes, antelopes and wild animals are just some of the animals targeted by poachers, and as an example, the NGO says at least one elephant is killed by poachers every 15 minutes, in African forests. The TrailGuard cameras used by RESOLVE use an artificial intelligence-based algorithm to analyze the movements around and in the frame. The cameras are linked to the control rooms, with warnings being sent whenever the cameras detect movement of people or vehicles. Because poachers generally tend to move at a very slow pace so as not to warn their inevitable prey, these cameras can also capture faces. This gives the time for the authorities to set up a response.

"By linking AI technology to human decision makers, we can solve some of our greatest challenges, including the illegal poaching of endangered animals. With TrailGuard AI, Intel's Movidius technology enables the camera to capture suspicious poaching images and to capture park rangers warnings that will ultimately determine the most appropriate answer, "said Anna Bethke, leader of AI for Social Good at Intel Corporation, at the time of the launch.

These convolutional neural networks are trained on hundreds of thousands of images, allowing artificial intelligence to detect people from different angles. There is also a much greater chance that the authorities can detect poachers.

There are always the challenges of storage and battery. Intel says that each TrailGuard AI camera stores images of just 20 KB and has a lifespan of one year for 24 hours a day.

The technology showcase at London Tech Week 2019, the largest ever LTW event in the UK to date, has focused strongly on the AI ​​domain, with companies demonstrating their AI and machine learning prowess, all with global applications. "By realizing the potential of leading digital hubs such as the UK and India, we can together create a culture of innovation, pave the way for the next generation of technological progress and solve global challenges together," said Amo Kalar, Deputy Director of Trade. and innovation, British High Commission.

This Intel example is just one that can be used in almost every national park anywhere in the world, as animal poaching is a global threat. The TrailGuard AI cameras, in collaboration with the National Geographic Society, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and others, will be deployed in 100 reserves in Africa in 2019, with plans to expand to Southeast Asia and South America .

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