Chinese researchers develop monkey facial recognition using AI technology
Published: Feb 22, 2021 10:37 AM

Golden snub-nosed monkey "Taitan" (R) looks at its newborn at the Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, April 30, 2019. The Chimelong Safari Park greeted a newborn golden snub-nosed monkey on Monday. The golden snub-nosed monkey family here has grown to a father, three mothers and ten babies. (Xinhua/Liu Dawei)

A research team from China's Northwest University is using artificial intelligence (AI) and other new technologies to develop a facial recognition technology for monkey to identify thousands of Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkeys in the Qinling Mountain in Shaanxi Province.

Similar to the current facial recognition technology, the technology for monkey can extract the facial feature information of the monkey to establish the identity database of the individual monkey in Qinling Mountains, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

"When monkey facial recognition technology is fully developed, we can integrate the technology into an infrared camera sets in the mountains. The system will automatically recognize the monkeys, name them and analyze their behavior," said Zhang He, a member of the Northwest University research team.

At present, the monkey facial recognition technology is in the experimental stage of promotion and can identify about 200 golden monkeys in the Qinling Mountain. 

"For each snub-nosed monkey, we obtained between 700 to 800 image samples, and the success rate of recognition was 94 percent," Zhang added.

Compared with facial recognition for human beings, monkey facial recognition technology is different in that the face of golden monkey is hairier, making the texture features more complex, which puts higher requirements on the deep learning ability of the recognition system.

"The wild environment is complicated, and golden monkeys do not cooperate with the process in the same way humans do. It is difficult to capture high-quality pictures and videos, which are essential to improve the recognition rate. Our goal is to successfully identify every monkey captured in the camera," Li Baoguo, leader of the research team, said.

Currently, there are about 4,000 golden snub-nosed monkeys living in the Qinling Mountain, which belong to the independent subspecies of Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkeys. They are typical forest arboreal animals, inhabiting forests at an altitude of 1,500 meters to 3,300 meters all the year round. 

Global Times