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Chinese scientists use facial recognition AI to track monkeys

Facial recognition technology is now widely-adopted in our lives. It uses computer algorithms to pick out distinctive details on a person's face and compare them to data in the database. Considering the convenience that this technology has brought, a research team from China's Northwest University has employed it as a means of identifying Qinling golden snub-nosed monkeys, hoping to develop a way to recognize every individual in the group.

The Qinling golden snub-nosed monkey is a subspecies of Sichuan snub-nosed monkey. This subspecies includes about 4,000 individuals (about half of them adults) living in the Qinling Mountain Range in the southern part of Shaanxi Province in northwest China. Due to habitat loss, the Sichuan snub-nosed monkey is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, and is under first-class state protection in China.

The research team that developed this technology has spent years studying the Qinling snub-nosed monkey. According to team member Guo Songtao, who is a PhD professor at the School of Life Sciences in Northwest University, it is very difficult to identify each individual monkey as continuous tracking and observation is impossible for humans. With the facial recognition system, the AI can immediately process each monkey's identity.

Guo said that this individual tacking can help with the study of the behavior and social structures of Qinling golden snub-nosed monkeys and other primates. This will contribute a lot to subjects such as anthropology and sociology. In addition, in order to provide better protection to these endangered animals, data on individual monkeys is very important.

Source: CGTN
(Chinese scientists use facial recognition AI to track monkeys - CGTN)