Big Data, Little Birds: How GPUs and Deep Learning Help Scientists Save Threatened Avian …

Traveling to remote islands. Scrambling across cliffs to track their quarry. Installing acoustic sensors to detect its every move. Ornithologists — scientists who study birds — often have a little James Bond in them. Model of SM2 automated digital audio recorder by Jay Penniman, MNSRP. And they’re increasingly using technology that would delight Bond’s gadget-happy “Q” to map nesting sites, record bird calls and monitor avian populations. Left in the field 24 hours a day, acoustic sensors and cameras capture immense amounts of data that are so gigantic they simply can’t be analyzed manually. To crunch this data in the service of preservation, Conservation Metrics, based in Santa Cruz, Calif., is training software using deep learning accelerated with NVIDIA GPUs. “It’s a lot of detective work, then a lot of…


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