- Conservation technology company Conservation X Labs has announced a merger with Wild Me, a nonprofit that focuses on using artificial intelligence for conservation purposes.
- The two organizations plan to combine their resources and expertise to ramp up the use of artificial intelligence to prevent the sixth mass extinction.
- The merger comes at a time when AI’s role in biodiversity monitoring and conservation has seen rising popularity.
- According to a press statement by Conservation X Labs, the company will “integrate Wild Me’s technology into its product offerings.”
Conservation technology company Conservation X Labs and nonprofit Wild Me have announced they are merging in a bid to ramp up the role of artificial intelligence in biodiversity protection.
With this development, the two organizations plan to put together their resources and years of expertise to work toward preventing the sixth mass extinction. Wild Me will now be a part of Conservation X Labs.
“We believe in the enormous potential of AI in conservation, and look forward to combining forces to empower conservationists worldwide,” Paul Bunje, president and co-founder of Conservation X Labs, said in a press release issued by the company.
The use of artificial intelligence in wildlife monitoring, protection and conservation has seen a rapid rise, especially in recent years. It has proved helpful in analyzing and processing huge amounts of data gathered in the field, thereby reducing the time and labor that had historically made data analysis challenging and cumbersome.
From identifying and classifying animals from camera-traps image, to detecting koalas that survived wildfires in Australia, to listening through thousands of hours of audio to pick out gibbon calls in China, artificial intelligence and its various subsets, like machine-learning and deep learning, have been playing a vital role in biodiversity protection. Apart from analyzing vast amounts of data, artificial intelligence has also been key to making forecasts and predictions that have guided conservation action, be it predicting bird migration patterns or estimating the locations of unknown populations of giraffes. While there continues to be downsides to depending heavily on artificial intelligence, having it as part of the conservation toolkit has been shown to help save time and improve efficiency.
The merger between Conservation X Labs and Wild Me aims to capitalize on this growing interest in artificial intelligence among biologists and researchers. The former is a prominent company in the conservation technology space that works on tech innovations and organizes competitions to identify impactful projects from around the world.
Wild Me is a nonprofit that focuses on applying machine learning to conservation. Over the years, the team there has developed open-source platforms such as Codex and Wildbook that combine citizen science with artificial intelligence to identify species and analyze populations.
According to a statement issued by Conservation X Labs, the company plans to “integrate Wild Me’s technology into its product offerings.” This includes Sentinel, an AI tool developed by Conservation X Labs that offers real-time monitoring of data captured by trail cameras and acoustic recorders to enable rapid action.
Banner image: From identifying and classifying animals from camera-traps image, to detecting koalasthat survived wildfires in Australia. Image by Charles J. Sharp via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).
Abhishyant Kidangoor is a staff writer at Mongabay. Find him on 𝕏 @AbhishyantPK.