A former Microsoft employee is actually using AI to track herds

is actually the entire world ready for cows armed with artificial intelligence?

No time to ruminate on in which because the moment has arrived, thanks to a Dutch company in which has married two technologies — motion sensors in addition to also AI — with the aim of bringing the barnyard into the 21st century.

The company, Connecterra, has brought its IDA system, or “The Intelligent Dairy Farmer’s Assistant,” to the United States after having piloted the idea in Europe for several years.

IDA uses a motion-sensing device attached to a cow’s neck to transmit its movements to a program driven by AI. The sensor data, when aligned repeatedly with real-world behavior, eventually allows IDA to tell via data alone when a cow is actually chewing cud, lying down, walking, drinking or eating.

Those indicators can predict whether a particular cow is actually ill, has become less productive, or is actually ready to breed — alerting the farmer to adjustments in behavior in which might otherwise be easily missed.

“the idea could just be impossible for us to keep up with every animal on an individual basis,” says Richard Watson, one of the first four U.S. farmers to use IDA since the idea launched commercially in December.

Watson, who owns the Seven Oaks Dairy in Waynesboro, Georgia, says having a computer identify which cows in his 2,000-head herd need attention could help improve farm productivity as much as 10 percent, which could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars to his family.

“If we can prove out in which these advantages exist via using This specific technology … I think adoption of IDA across a broad range of farming systems, particularly large farming systems, could be a no-brainer,” Watson says.

Dairy farming is actually just one industry benefiting via AI, which is actually being applied in fields as diverse as journalism, manufacturing in addition to also self-driving cars. In agriculture, AI is actually being developed to estimate crop health using drone footage in addition to also parse out weed killer between rows of cotton.

Yasir Khokhar, the former Microsoft employee who is actually the founder in addition to also CEO of Connecterra, said the inspiration for the idea came after living on a dairy farm south of Amsterdam.

“the idea turns out the technology farmers use is actually actually outdated in many respects,” he says. “What does exist is actually very cumbersome to use, yet agriculture is actually one of those areas in which desperately needs technology.”

Underlying IDA is actually Google’s open-source TensorFlow programming framework, which has helped spread AI to many disciplines. the idea’s a language built on top of the commonly used Python code in which helps connect data via text, images, audio or sensors to neural networks — the algorithms in which help computers learn. The language has been downloaded millions of times in addition to also has about 1,400 people contributing code, only 400 of whom work at Google, according to product manager Sandeep Gupta.

He says TensorFlow can be used by people with only high-school level math in addition to also some programming skills.

“We’re continuing This specific journey producing the idea easier in addition to also easier to use,” Gupta says.

TensorFlow has been used to do everything via helping NASA scientists find planets using the Kepler telescope, to assisting a tribe inside the Amazon detect the sounds of illegal deforestation, according to Google spokesman Justin Burr.

Google hopes users adapt the open-source code to discover completely new applications in which the company could someday use in its own business.

Even without AI, sensors are helping farmers keep tabs on their herds.

Mary Mackinson Faber, a fifth-generation farmer at the Mackinson Dairy Farm near Pontiac, Illinois, says a device attached to a cow’s tail developed by Irish company Moocall sends her a text when a cow is actually ready to give birth, so she can be there to make sure nothing goes wrong. Moocall doesn’t use AI — the idea simply sends a text when a certain threshold of spinal contractions inside the tail are exceeded.

While she calls the idea a “great tool,” she says the idea takes human intuition to do what’s right for their animals.

“There are certain tasks in which the idea can help with, in addition to also the idea can assist us, however I don’t think the idea will ever replace the human.”

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