My wandering thoughts on facial recognition software for dairy cows

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Recently I read the headline: “Cargill, Cainthus partner to bring facial recognition technology to dairy farms” (Feedstuffs, Jan. 31, 2018). Wow! Reading a cow’s face? I can think of nothing more stoic or poker-faced than a cow. That must be some software.Then I read further and learned that this new software — machine vision software — recognizes each cow’s hide pattern and facial shape. Cainthus, the Dublin, Ireland-based developer of the software, has developed algorithms to track cows’ key data traits such as ruminations, water and feed intake, time spent lying, standing or walking, and body temperature to flag exactly how each cow in a herd is doing.The software also predicts when a cow is in heat, even if she has no visible signs. Combine this information with milk production data and voila! Everything a dairyman needs to know about his herd is available on his smartphone or computer.And if software that identifies the face of one cow from another isn’t enough to blow your mind, Cainthus plans to extend this technology to poultry and fish farms.Doesn’t that sound far out? Recognizing one chicken from another! Or better yet, telling fish apart. I hope they made the machine waterproof.Then I let my imagination run wild. Hard to believe, right? What if this face recognition technology could be adapted to monitor spouses? I’ll have to admit, I’m often clueless about picking up on my wife Kris’s state from one moment to the next. This could save my hide, despite myself.Think how much easier it would be to have at your fingertips on your smartphone, technology that could give you a high degree of confidence in knowing your spouse’s degree of approachability — in real time — on any number of subjects.For instance:First thing in the morning, I could get an instant read on Kris’s mood, to get off on the right foot, and keep it out of my mouth.Check a bar graph on my cell phone to determine the best time to tell Kris about the pickup I bought.Sync with Kris’s Fit-Bit to see if she slept well the night before, not that I can’t figure that out the old-fashioned way.See if the time is right to ask her if it’s OK to go fishing or hunting, to a ballgame or check out a farm sale.Know when the timing is right for … well, you know….Advanced warning when it’s better to be out of sight as in “out of sight and out of mind”.As I read the Feedstuffs article I also thought that the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) should use this software at airports. I would no longer need a passport. This could be problematic for Kris, though, depending on whether she had put her “face” on or was going au natural.On further reflection, and before I cause myself further harm, I think it would be wise to leave well enough alone. No trying to read Kris’s mind…. I should just do what I’m told. Life’s more peaceful that way.last_img

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