Editor’s note—I decided to try an AI experiment: the following article was primarily written by AI at ContentBot.ai. The grammar and structure were decent, but the AI had a hard time nailing down specific details. I added information about WSU biology professor Daniel Thornton and his team’s work on identification of endangered species like the Canada lynx. Aside from that paragraph and some edits, the rest of the article was generated from a series of prompts to the AI.
With the help of artificial intelligence (AI), we can now take wildlife conservation to a whole new level. We can use data to better understand the behavior of animals, their habitats, and even predict the potential threats to their populations.
AI can be used to track and monitor endangered animals, alerting conservationists of any potential threats. For example, researchers have used AI to track and monitor deer populations, helping wildlife conservationists create better strategies for their care and protection. By monitoring their behavior and habitat, AI can also provide insights into how climate change is affecting these animals.
Washington State University wildlife biologist Daniel Thornton and his research team placed 650 camera traps across more than 4,300 square miles of northeastern Washington in an effort to measure Canada lynx populations. Their 2020 study provided much-needed data on the lynx range in Washington to aid conservation efforts. To identify the endangered cat and other wildlife, though, AI can provide support in sorting through millions of images.
Besides using AI-powered image recognition at WSU, other benefits of research have included improved accuracy and speed in data collection and analysis. This has been especially true when it comes to correctly identifying animal species, using images as a primary source of data. Providing these advances in technology could prove to be a major milestone for our understanding of the environment and wildlife.
AI technology can still have difficulty identifying different species and habitats in the wild, especially when it comes to the most remote and diverse areas, such as Washington state’s mountain ranges. With their vast and complex landscapes, mountains can provide challenging environments, so it’s no wonder that even the most sophisticated AI technology struggles to recognize the differences.
Despite this, the potential of AI in researching and understanding these environments is being explored more and more. It can help scientists to understand and monitor these habitats in ways that humans cannot. AI-powered animal identification systems, such as the WSU research, are also more cost-effective and require less of a workforce than traditional methods, providing a great advantage for those looking to conserve endangered species.
We can only hope that as AI science continues to evolve, so too will our ability to protect and preserve our planet’s natural beauty for generations to come.
Podcast: Ethical dilemmas of AI-generated art and writing
“When will artificial intelligence really pass the test? (in current issue)
Will ChatGPT Kill the Student Essay? (The Atlantic, December 1, 2022)
“ChatGPT, Galactica, and the Progress Trap” (Wired, December 9, 2022)
“AI and the Future of Undergraduate Writing: Teaching Experts Are Worried About ChatGPT, but Not for the Reasons You Think” (The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 13, 2022)
“Your Creativity Won’t Save Your Job From AI” (The Atlantic, December 1, 2022)
“ChatGPT proves AI is finally mainstream — and things are only going to get weirder” (The Verge, December 8, 2022)
“A New Chat Bot Is a ‘Code Red’ for Google’s Search Business” (New York Times, December 21, 2022)
“AI Is Taking On Ever-Larger Puzzles” (Wired, January 14, 2023)
“The Expanding Dark Forest and Generative AI” (maggieappleton.com)