AI technology used to help raise fitter, healthier pigs

Sang Yarong China Plus Published: 2018-06-08 21:03:18
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Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has been applied to a trial of a special high tech pig farm in China, reports Xinhua.

In Shanghai on Thursday, Alibaba's cloud computing subsidiary, Aliyun, launched an AI system called "ET Agricultural Brain". The new system has been applied to the task of raising pigs, as well as growing apples and muskmelons. Aliyun has cooperated with a Sichuan-based agricultural company on the pig farming component of the project.

[File photo: VCG]

[File photo: VCG]

On the Sichuan company's high tech pig farm, a network of sensors collect a range of data about each pig, including its breed, age, weight, diets, movements, and the condition of its immune system. This information is fed into the AI system, which analyzes the pig's behavioral characteristics and manages its feed and medical care as required. The system is also designed to provide early warning of any outbreaks of communicable disease between the pigs in the farm. Cameras also track the movements of each pig, and automated mechanisms can lead a pig outdoors to exercise if it has been too sedentary.

"The kilometer logs will become a new criterion for quality pork," said Hu Xiaoming, the president of Aliyun. "In the future, what we want is a quality pig that had run 200 kilometers instead of a pig weighs 200 kilograms." Hu added that with the aid of AI technology, each sow can give birth to three more piglets every year and the mortality rate has been decreasing.

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