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AI representation of two humpback whales

Whale Intelligence

Now that they’ve proven the usefulness of flying drones for studying marine mammals, the Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing Lab at the Duke Marine Lab is training computers to automatically count and measure whales found in their imagery. A ‘convolutional neural network’ is trained on thousands of images to recognize the differences between blue, minke and humpback whales and accurately estimate their size. “These artificial intelligence techniques are critical because drones, satellites, camera traps and other sensors are now being deployed across environments, sometimes collecting data for years on end,” said marine science and conservation graduate student Patrick Gray.