Alberta app helps ranchers with artificial intelligence

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an-app from alberta helping breeders with artificial intelligence

The BETSY application monitors and analyzes the condition and health of animals through cameras. In this image, she spots the animal and the different parts of its body.

Herd owners can count on a new pair of eyes to monitor their cattle: an Alberta application that uses artificial intelligence.

This technological tool allows Ashley Perepelkin to save valuable time. A mother of four, the rancher tends to 160 calving cows on her ranch southwest of Edmonton. Ashley Perepelkin has to take on this heavy task alone, as her husband, the co-owner of Perepelkin Farms, is in charge of the grain and works full-time during the winter.

Tough work for Ashley Perepelkin, as it requires checking the condition of a hundred cows every three hours. A job that must be done day and night, and sometimes in winter temperatures that can reach tens of degrees below zero.

From now on, the breeder can count on the help of an application called Bovine Expert Tracking And Surveillance. The app, whose acronym is BETSY, uses facial recognition cameras to watch the animals. BETSY then issues a report if it detects abnormal beast behavior.

Ashley Perepelkin is very impressed with the app in general. His farm took part in the BETSY data collection and beta test last year. That's when Ashley Perepelkin realized the full potential of this technology, she says.

She can tell me if something is going on…this way I don't have to live 60 days of limited sleep, rejoices the; breeder.

The application was developed by the Alberta company OneCup AI to facilitate the work of people working in the agricultural field.

The company's president and CEO, Mohka Shmigelsky, comes from a family of farmers. A context that inspired her to set up this project.

Does agriculture involve high technology?

Mohka Shmigelsky explains that BETSY uses facial recognition to identify each animal individually. The technology then watches the animals throughout the day to gather useful information for the farmer.

The application has also been conceptualized to quickly detect if something is wrong with the monitored animals. BETSY is a proactive system, says Mohka Shmigelsky.

For example, the application will notify the breeder if a cow is calving or limping. She even goes so far as to monitor the animals' water and food consumption.

“BETSY has the skills of a farm worker [who] look at your animals and give you lots of information about them.

— Mohka Shmigelsky, President & CEO, OneCup AI

Calving season is in the spring and this is an opportunity for BETSY to stand out. It watches the animals and notifies the breeder […] if an animal begins to calve, says the CEO of OneCup AI.

The app is also able to recognize and watch over 50 different animals, including horses and sheep, says Mohka Shmigelsky.

With info from the showEdmonton AM

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