Discovery: Researchers develop pig facial recognition technology - LivestockTrend


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Tuesday 9 April 2019

Discovery: Researchers develop pig facial recognition technology

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Researchers at Scotland’s Rural College have recorded groundbreaking success in developing facial recognition technology for pigs. 

The research has so far yielded a 97% success rate in identifying individual pigs using their faces alone. 

Dr. Emma Baxter, a researcher of Animal Behavior and Welfare at the Scotland’s Rural College revealed this development. She also stated that the technology was still under active development.

The first port of call for the implementation of the technology was the introduction of motion sensor cameras placed behind the water drinkers of the pigs at the SRUC for the collection of images. 

A team of researchers at the University of West of England’s Centre for Machine Vision then developed the algorithms using deep learning techniques to detect facial features which distinguish individual pigs.

The results of the joint researching recorded astounding success in recognizing individual pigs using only facial features.

The researchers however seek to take this technology one step further to use it in detecting facial expressions and changes in individual pigs. This can go a long way in ensuring proper welfare and early detection of disease symptoms.

They intend to use various expressions given by the pigs during biological changes to train their machine learning models in order to automatically detect these emotions displayed by different facial expressions.

As useful as this technology is, it should not be a replacement for good animal management and good biosecurity, said Dr. Emma Baxter.

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