“A few years ago, Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, published the results of something called the Great Elephant Census, which counted all the savanna elephants in Africa. What it found rocked the conservation world: In the seven years between 2007 and 2014, Africa's savanna elephant population decreased by about a third and was on track to disappear completely from some African countries in as few as 10 years,” writes Dina Temple-Raston in their recent NPR article entitled “Elephants Under Attack Have An Unlikely Ally: Artificial Intelligence.”
“To reverse that trend, researchers landed on a technology that is rewriting the rules for everything from our household appliances to our cars: artificial intelligence. AI's ability to find patterns in enormous volumes of information is demystifying not just elephant behavior but human behavior — specifically poacher behavior — too,” Temple-Raston explains.
Cornell University researcher Peter Wrege shares in the article, "AI can process huge amounts of information to tell us where the elephants are, how many there are. And ideally tell us what they are doing."
“There are two kinds of elephants in Africa: savanna elephants, which were counted by Allen's census, and forest elephants, which the census couldn't account for because that elephant lives beneath a thick rainforest canopy. Even at the level of the jungle, losing a forest elephant is easy to do,” Wrege says in the NPR article.
"Sometimes you see them, let's say, 15 meters [16 yards] away from you and then they move 5 meters into the forest and you can't see them. Somehow they just disappear," Wrege continues.
According to Temple-Raston, “Researchers at Cornell University have been studying the forest elephant for years, trying to figure out — like Allen did with the savanna elephant — how many there are and how fast they are being killed. Given how stealthy the forest elephants are, Wrege began to think that rather than look for them, maybe he should try something a little different: Maybe he should listen for them.”
While the rest of Temple-Raston’s article is quite insightful, we’ve got to stop here to make a point.
Yes, the situation surrounding elephants, poachers, and AI is quite different from your property operation – it caught our attention.
AI is an unlikely ally for elephants.
And we hope it works.
But we’ve got a likely ally to help you protect and manage your property.
One that we know works.
It’s Proactive Operations