This week in AI and Machine Learning: Monitoring livestock with computer vision, an award for the team behind AlphaFold, and more. 

Author’s Note

Computer vision’s potential to enhance livestock monitoring is immense. From models to automate counting and tracking to solutions for recognizing subtle signs of health issues, vision AI promises to fundamentally transform agribusiness. Plainsight’s Co-Founder and CEO, Carlos Anchia, joined Feedstuffs 365 to discuss precision livestock counting and other use cases for visual data analytics in agriculture. Check out the conversation below.

Artificial Intelligence News

Getty Bans AI-Generated Images

AI-powered image generation tools are everywhere this year—including several of these weekly updates. This week, Getty Images became the largest content platform yet to ban users from uploading and selling AI-generated illustrations. Getty CEO, Craig Peters, described the decision in an interview with The Verge as a proactive move related to “real concerns with respect to the copyright of outputs from these models [and a range of] unaddressed rights issues.” Getty Images is the largest platform of its kind to make such an announcement thus far, but it’s unlikely they’ll be the last. Platforms like DALL-E 2 and MidJourney have already inspired many to call for new laws specifically focused on AI and the images it helps create.  

Getty intends to rely on user feedback and a partnership with the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity to weed out AI-generated images. Read up on Getty’s decision and the ongoing debate over the legality of digital artwork. 

The Researchers Behind AlphaFold Win Breakthrough Prize

In a weekly update this summer, we shared the news that a revolutionary AI network called AlphaFold had made it possible for scientists to predict the structure of any protein in the universe. The research, conducted by a team at London-based DeepMind, instantly transformed the world of structural biology and promised not only to accelerate ongoing research, but lower barriers of entry into the field.

This week, DeepMind’s Co-Founder and CEO, Demis Hassabis, collected the Breakthrough Prize (worth $3 million) alongside John Jumper, a senior scientist at DeepMind. Four other teams were honored, including a group of sleep scientists who uncovered the chemical source of narcolepsy. Learn more about some of the other impressive projects recognized with Breakthrough Awards this year as well as the ways researchers are already leveraging AlphaFold. 

Protecting Endangered Birds with AI

While its numbers are stable in other parts of Europe, the lesser spotted eagle population in Germany is small and shrinking thanks in part to one unintended consequence of green energy. Since the nation began phasing out nuclear power in 2011, wind turbines have stepped in to supply a growing share  of Germany’s energy.  Unfortunately, eagles in flight are not used to encountering anything like a wind turbine. With their eyes fixed to the ground in search of prey, these birds are at risk of colliding with turbines and suffering injuries or death. Authorities have identified 8 dead eagles near turbines since 2002, which is a significant number in a nation that counts only 130 breeding pairs of lesser spotted eagles among its wild bird population. 

Updates to German law have recently eliminated many of the roadblocks that had previously discouraged turbine construction and use near nesting sites or during migration seasons. Researchers are hopeful that an AI-powered solution, developed with the support of engineers from Colorado-based IdentiFlight, can help. 

For three years, researchers have developed and tested a neural network capable of recognizing eagles from as far as 750 meters away and shifting turbines into a safer setting called “trundle mode.” The technology should hopefully address a dilemma for environmentalists by eliminating the need to choose between preserving biodiversity and embracing renewable energy. Experts expect Germany to build an additional 16,000 wind turbines by the end of the decade. Learn more about the recent legislation and IdentiFlight’s efforts.

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About the Author & Plainsight

Bennett Glace is a B2B technology content writer and cinephile from Philadelphia. He helps Plainsight in its mission to make vision AI accessible to entire enterprise teams.

Plainsight’s vision AI platform streamlines and optimizes the full computer vision lifecycle. From project strategy, through model deployment, and ongoing monitoring, Plainsight helps customers successfully create and operationalize vision AI applications to solve highly diverse business challenges.

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