The United Kingdom is utilizing AI-powered surveillance equipment, such as cameras and microphones, to combat biodiversity challenges. This technology has proven highly effective in accurately identifying and tracking different species and their habitats.
Wildlife observation has undergone a transformative shift with AI-equipped cameras and microphones. Researchers can now monitor animals and birds within their natural environments without disrupting their behavior.
These advanced devices are being deployed in three locations across the UK with great success. The captured sounds and images are then analyzed by AI software to identify various species and their precise geographical coordinates.
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has played a crucial role in conducting this large-scale operation. Anthony Dancer, a conservation specialist at ZSL, explains that capturing tens of thousands of data files and thousands of hours of audio with human observers would have been impossible. Only AI technology has made it feasible.
To ensure the accuracy of the data, the experimental areas have been strictly protected from human interference. As Dancer notes, they have demonstrated the technology’s promise and are now ready to expand to other regions.
Avian species such as the Eurasian blackcap, blackbird, and great tit have particularly benefited from this breakthrough. Neil Strong, biodiversity strategy manager for Network Rail, confirms that the AI algorithms easily detect these three bird species.
In addition to rural areas, AI technology has also been successfully applied in urban environments like London. The algorithms have revealed the presence of numerous animal species. Dancer expresses surprise at the relatively healthy levels of wildlife they discovered in London, including over 30 bird species, six bat species, as well as foxes and hedgehogs.
The use of AI-operated cameras for wildlife conservation is not entirely new. Facial recognition software, for example, has previously tracked puffins and seals in Scotland and other areas. Despite concerns surrounding AI, it’s essential to remember that this technology can bring positive outcomes.