Drones and Artificial Intelligence aim to end Poaching in Africa

Poaching is a problem most Western countries will never be faced with, yet it remains a major issue across all of Africa. Various organizations have started experimenting with drones to nip poaching in the bud. However, a new initiative looks to use a deep learning AI to boost drone capabilities in the future. This new take on the fight against poachers deserves some more attention.

AI And Drones Are A Powerful Combination

New advancements in the world of technology can be used for many different purposes. Flying cars and renewable energies are two sectors most Western countries are focusing their attention on right now. The Lindbergh Foundation, on the other hand, is looking to tackle one of the world’s biggest problems to date. Poaching, especially across the African continent, is getting out of hand, and a solution needs to be found.

Using drones is the first big step towards bringing poaching to an end sooner or later. However, the Foundation feels there is room to combine drones with artificial intelligence and step up the game. This is why the non-profit partnered up with Neurala to use their deep learning neural network AI in combination with the Foundation’s drones. This should yield some very interesting results, which will hopefully end this threat to animals across Africa.

To be more specific, the artificial intelligence in question has been trained on what to look out for. It is well aware of elephants, rhinos, and poachers. With this knowledge, it should become possible to mark all of these roaming creatures and point them out in captured video material. Moreover, the AI will go through all of the footage – which is transmitted back in real-time – to highlight any poaching activity in the area. What is even more impressive is how the technology can also handle infrared footage without any problems.

Identifying the presence of poachers is only the first step along the way, though. By transmitting this information back in real-time, preventing the poachers from reaching the herd becomes the top priority. A drone cannot do much in this regard, unfortunately, but it won’t have to fight this battle alone. The drones and this AI will become part of the ongoing Air Shephard initiative, which has been taking the fight to poachers in Africa for some time now.

This is another major validation of why AI technology is so vital. Even though a lot of people are concerned artificial intelligence will eventually take away our jobs, that day may never come. Even so, we need to come up with creative use cases for this technology, which involves trying different approaches to see what works. Ensuring poaching becomes a thing of the past is a great way to validate deep learning neural network technology, to say the least.

For now, the effectiveness of this venture has yet to be determined. It has great potential on paper, but it will only take so long until poachers become aware of this new technology. That does not mean they will try to neutralize the drones per se, but it goes to show these efforts need to continually evolve and adapt to the threats as well.

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