Facial Recognition Software Could Save Endangered Right Whales

Posted: Jan 25 2016, 5:18am CST | by , Updated: Jan 25 2016, 5:21am CST, in News | Latest Science News

Facial Recognition Software could save Endangered Right Whales
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  • Facial Recognition Software could play a Role in saving Right Whales from Extinction

It has been found that facial recognition software could play a role in saving right whales from extinction.

Scientists may just have found a method of saving the right whales of the North Atlantic. Their populations are dwindling and so they need to be saved from extinction.

These whales are baleen whales that happen to be the largest of sea creatures. They grow to be over 50 feet in length and they weigh 70 tons. And although they are huge, they feed on tiny zooplankton. These are little species that teem in the depths of the ocean.

The whales are to be found in the Atlantic Ocean and their presence in the region is due to the availability of their prey. NOAA has said that there are less than 500 right whales spread all over the world. And this is due to the large scale commercial fishing enterprises.

Last year, NOAA warned fishing boats to keep away from right whales or risk being fined a lot of money. These whales are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Finally, a facial recognition software has been designed for the whales. This could play a key role in saving them from extinction.

The software was developed as a result of the Right Whale Recognition Contest. Arranged by marine biologist Christin Khan, over 470 contestants among 364 teams participated in the competition.

Khan took her cue from Facebook’s facial recognition scheme to identify people among a range of photos. A facial recognition algorithm is used to identify whales about 87% of the time.

This software tells which whale is the one by the pattern on its head. AI is employed for the alignment, localization and identification of the whales.

The whales are recognized via aerial photographs. The software was developed by the company deepsense.io. This could be used to help save whales that have gotten caught in fishing nets.

Those responsible for extricating the whales from the nets could thus be contacted on an emergency basis. Also errors such as mistaken biopsies on the wrong whales would be avoided via this methodology.

It will help save scientists the backbreaking task of searching through countless photographs of whales. This will leave excess time which can be utilized for research purposes. The time consumption has been reduced and the whale conservation efforts have begun in earnest.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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