Microsoft AI-powered app lets farmers chat with their cows

Microsoft AI-powered app lets farmers chat with their cows
The free, AI-powered app which launched Wednesday will allow some of the world’s poorest farmers to “communicate” with their cattle using only a smartphone.

“It is the next step in technological evolution,” the application’s founder and creator, Eddie Rodríguez Von Der Becke, said, as cited by Cadena 3

AI-powered bots assess the animals’ condition based on a number of inputs, and interact with farmers, reminding them about vaccination and feeding times, and gestation periods, in addition to providing additional tips and information to improve the overall health of the herd.

For now, the system operates via text input alone, but an update due later this year will allow for voice commands, effectively allowing farmers to engage with their herds like never before.

Questions can include: “How are you feeling?” or “are you hungry?” and “when was your last vaccination?” reports El Argentino.

In the initial testing phase of the app, farmers around the world reported up to a three-fold increase in daily milk production.

“With the help of Microsoft, we came up with the idea to create one artificial intelligence that analyzes human language and connect it with another that analyzes animal behaviour,” he added.

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“Over half the world’s population does not yet have access to the internet, which means connectivity is a global challenge that requires a creative solution,” Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development at Microsoft, said in a statement.

“By using today’s technology and working with local business-owners that best understand the needs of their communities, our hope is to create sustainable solutions that will last for years to come,” she added.

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The app works across all platforms and all manner of smartphones, from the earliest generation to the latest, on desktop and laptop to afford users the most flexibility possible.

“Cows are better conversationalists than some people I know,” Von Der Becke joked on Facebook.

The immediate language barrier issue was overcome in a very straightforward way; by making the language element open source, empowers users to engage with the platform, share not only their languages but also their experiences while also helping to add languages that aren’t even supported by Google Translate yet, Von Der Becke told a TedX conference in Córdoba, Argentina.

“For the first time in history we have the capacity, the knowledge and the tools to resolve some of the most fundamental problems we face as a species: food security, poverty, education, sexual education, sustainable production,” Von Der Becke concludes.