New farming AI technology will help in screening pigs’ emotions

Advancement in Artificial Intelligence will now foster better insights into understanding pigs’ emotions.

According to experts, pigs are very headstrong, in addition to being facially very expressive and amenable when their photo are taken. When the pigs walk, their photos are captured with the means of 3D scanners.

The newly launched technology is especially created in order to help scientists assess the pigs’ emotions: sad, happy or stressed.

Speaking about the various challenges of the latest experiment, Dr Emma Baxter, Animal Welfare Scientist, SURC, commented, “It is quite challenging to get them to look up at the camera and give us an image so that we can monitor individuals continually and get an idea about their mood.”

The machine developed by Scientists at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory uses AI in order to recognize the emotion in pigs’ faces. As the animal approach, they are identified and a judgment can hence be made on the pig’s emotional state, according to Mark Hansen from the Bristol Robotics Laboratory. “If we can find out whether an animal is in pain, a farmer or the herdsperson will receive a text message saying that the pigs need attention.”

Experts believe farmers know a lot about their pigs and can recognize the most obvious signs and then deal with them accordingly. However with the evolution of global farming, where farms have become more integrated, the number of stockpeople to pigs is not in favour of the pigs. Therefore a tool that can monitor animals continuously would thus aid farmers, since a computer system is doing the job of screening for them.