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Artificial intelligence

AI is helping wildlife biologists identify rare beasts on the Serengeti

New research has shown that an algorithm can be as effective as humans at identifying animals.

Some background: Motion-sensitive cameras automatically photograph wild animals, providing massive amounts of data, but humans have to analyze every image.

The news: AI was able to accurately catalogue 3.2 million photographs from the Snapshot Serengeti project with 96.6 accuracy—matching the record set by human volunteers. The software could save an estimated 17,000 person-hours’ worth of remaining work.

Why it matters: This success could propel fields like ecology, zoology, and biology to become “big data” disciplines. “This is a game changer for wildlife ecology," says Craig Packer, head of the Snapshot Serengeti project.

Deep Dive

Artificial intelligence

What does GPT-3 “know” about me? 

Large language models are trained on troves of personal data hoovered from the internet. So I wanted to know: What does it have on me?

An AI that can design new proteins could help unlock new cures and materials 

The machine-learning tool could help researchers discover entirely new proteins not yet known to science.

Meta’s new AI can turn text prompts into videos

It’s a breakthrough in generative AI that raises some tough ethical questions.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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