Using AI to Save Wildlife

Worldwide Experience conservation partner, Brett Barlow is achieving amazing results in wildlife protection through a unique AI (Artificial Intelligence) approach. Brett shares his story briefly with us below…

“Having grown up on a farm in Zimbabwe, conservation and wildlife has always been in my blood, and being lucky enough to have been able to assist in several Rhino related projects in Namibia in the late 1980’s as well as relocation and security projects in Zimbabwe and South Africa during the following 10 years, led me to my passion for Rhino. After purchasing my own rhino and working with them on a daily basis, I began to see the problems of rhino conservation first hand and the need for active intervention programs. From seeing less than 50 poaching incidents per year prior to 2007, we now see more than 1000 cases annually. Visiting a poaching scene is a life changing experience. There seems to be no respite in the poaching crisis and existing security measures are proving ineffective.

What started as a basic conversation about the plight of Rhino, ended up with a partnership with Adrian Gardiner and Mantis, in which we are focusing on new technologies involving Artificial Intelligence and analytics to form the basis of a new Rhino Protection model that could be rolled out to any reserve or Rhino facility. We are currently working closely with software development teams who are applying deep learning Artificial Intelligence algorithms and integrating various other existing systems in order to perfect this new concept.

In order to save our rhino for future generations, we need to be able to get the perfect balance between man and machine, by making increased use of Artificial Intelligence, we can limit the weak link in security, which is almost always the human element.

We believe that technology is the future for the protection of rare species and want our model to be agile and flexible in order to be able to be used for Gorillas, elephant etc.

I am also involved with several other conservation initiatives, but am concentrating on assisting with the developing and testing of this amazing new technology and once fully operational, will make it available to all conservation projects.”