A computer system developed in the Netherlands and based on artificial intelligence is capable of detecting nine emotional states in cattle and pigs by analyzing their faces to determine whether they are happy or not, according to a study published on the bioRxiv platform.
Today, livestock care is focused on reducing pain and distress for animals, and automated systems could help boost your positive states, affirms the author of the work, Suresh Neethirajan, from Wageningen University.
During the study thousands of facial images of cows and pigs from different farms to train the system, called ‘WUR Wolf’, until achieving an accuracy of 85%.
The emotional states of cows and pigs
The ‘software’ detects 13 facial actions Y 9 emotional states, which include if the animal is in an aggressive, calm or neutral state. For example, if a cow’s ears are pricked, I’m probably excited But if your ears point forward, you may feel negative emotions, such as frustration.
Whereas in pigs, if the ears move quickly it could indicate that the animal is stressed, whereas if the ears are hanging and fluttering in the direction of the eyes, the pig is likely to be in a neutral state.
These indicators provide information on the emotional state of farm animals and could be used to monitor them in order to provide them with a better environment, thus helping farmers to improve wellness standards required by the Dutch audit and inspection system.
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