Industrial Farming Turns Facial Recognition to Cows

“The companies say their focus will first be on dairy farming, but that ultimately this approach will be taken to swine, poultry, and fish farming ‘over the next several months…'”

Agricultural giant Cargill is looking to bring AI-driven machine vision to farming with a new partnership. The company has taken a partial stake in Cainthus, a tech firm with offices in Dublin, Ottawa, and San Francisco, and together the companies are going to turn sophisticated technologies like facial recognition to livestock.Industrial Farming Turns Facial Recognition to Cows

But it’s not as simple as just recognizing cows’ faces: Cainthus’ technology is designed to monitor things like the animals’ food and water consumption and other behavioral patterns, with the aim of enabling sophisticated analytics that can help to automate and optimize industrial farming. The companies say their focus will first be on dairy farming, but that ultimately this approach will be taken to swine, poultry, and fish farming “over the next several months,” according to a statement.

It’s yet another example of the increasingly diverse applications available for biometric and machine vision technologies, and it isn’t even the first one to focus on farming. Toward the end of last year, for example, a farming insurance company in China announced that it was planning to use facial recognition to identify chickens from organic farms.

As for the financial terms of the Cargill-Cainthus partnership, the details have not been disclosed, with the companies asserting only that Cargill has taken “a minority equity investment” in the latter.

February 2, 2018 – by Alex Perala