While some people look at facial recognition technology and see its potential for abuse in an Orwellian dystopia, some biologists see an effective tool for bucking the tide of declining animal population trends.
Together with a team of computer scientists, biologists have created facial identification software that has 98.7 percent accuracy detecting the identity of individual lemurs. The system is called LemurFaceID, and may hold the key for effective tracking efforts that provide a wellspring of new and important data for scientists working to preserve the embattled species.
According to Stacey Tecot, a senior researcher on the project, “The original inspiration for developing LemurFaceID was a desire to develop a noninvasive tool that would help us ID and track lemurs.” With such tools at their disposal, scientists can refrain from environment rattling procedures that require more direct interaction with the endangered primates while also accumulating larger stores of readily accessible data.
Hopefully, this innovation will have more general application, helping teams fighting to protect the 16,306 endangered species on the IUCN Red List.