Machine learning and Microsoft Azure help efforts to protect Masai giraffes

Using machine learning technology deployed on the Microsoft Azure cloud, Microsoft researchers have provided a new image processing service that helps conservationists with one of the largest individual-based demographic studies of large mammals ever undertaken. Scientists from the Wild Nature Institute must photograph thousands of giraffes to study the reproduction, survival and movements of the giraffe population. The analysis process is very manually intensive and time-consuming, as many thousands of photos have to be processed each year, and for every photo the giraffe body in the image has to be manually cropped. Using an object detection algorithm, the Microsoft team trained a software model to recognize giraffe torsos using the existing annotated giraffe data. The system identified new, difficult-to-predict images and showed its predictions on these images to a human who could quickly…


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