Monkey face recognition technology: A look at the future

A research team from China's Northwest University recently employed the facial recognition technology in identifying Qinling golden snub-nosed monkeys, and developed a system that can recognize every individual monkey in the group.

Qinling golden snub-nosed monkeys cuddle for warmth. /VCG

Prof. Guo Songtao, from the School of Life Sciences at Northwest University, one of the core members of the group, said that the technology is based on neural network algorithms which can pick the distinctive details of monkey’s facial features and compare with the database to recognize the identity of the monkey.

The technology can pick the distinctive details of monkey’s facial features and compare with the database to recognize the identity of the monkey. /VCG

Guo said the technology was first used to recognize individuals from a group of the rare Qinling golden snub-nosed monkeys, and the recognition accuracy was recorded at more than 95 percent. Now the technology can recognize 41 primate species with five non-primate mammal species like bears and red pandas.

The technology could also recognize red pandas. /VCG

Guo pointed out that the technology could be applied to the identification and conservation of other endangered species. By tracking the numbers in the group in a convenient and accurate way, the technology promises a breakthrough in surveying and monitoring mammalian biodiversity.

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(Cover image via VCG and Guo Songtao)

(He Gang, associate professor at the School of Life Sciences at Northwest University, also contributed to the story,)

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