CHINA - Facial Recognition Promises Farmyard Revolution

Arno Froese

There are many challenges to applying facial recognition technology to animals: Pigs don’t have distinguishing features and cows often want to lick the cameras. But there is an advantage: Farmyard inhabitants tend not to complain about impingements on their civil liberties.

Having mastered facial recognition for humans to an alarmingly precise degree, even picking out wanted criminals from huge crowds, Chinese tech whizzes are turning their attention to furrier faces.

“We’ve been using it for sheep, pigs and cows,” said Zhao Jinshi, who studied at Cornell University and founded Beijing Unitrace Tech, a company developing software for the agriculture industry.

China has led the world in developing facial recognition capabilities. There are almost 630 million facial recognition cameras in use in the country, for security purposes as well as for everyday conveniences like entering train stations and paying for goods in stores.

Chinese entrepreneurs see an opportunity to apply this know-how to agriculture as farms become bigger and more commercialized, and as the rural population ages, limiting the number of people able to do manual work.

“We can monitor how long the cow is drinking for, how much it’s eating, how many times a day it visits the trough,” Zhao said as the cows walked in a row from their outdoor pen toward the milking shed.

Signs of illness or unusual behavior can be detected using ¬artificial intelligence and treated quickly by a human, rather than relying on farmers to inspect the herd for potential problems.

“This system is very powerful and it will definitely make our work easier,” said He Ye, the manager of the farm in Hebei province. The farm has to buy the cameras, but Zhao’s company has been providing the technology for free while it irons out the wrinkles.

This kind of information for each animal used to be collected from electronic tags punched through their ears or worn around their ankles. The problem was that the cows were always trying to remove them—and often succeeding.

Long before the novel coronavirus—which scientists believe began in bats, then jumped through an intermediate host, probably pangolins, to humans working in an exotic meat market—China was known for low food standards and repeated scandals, such as melamine added to baby formula.

China is now paying more attention to food hygiene. With the spread of the coronavirus, China’s government has banned the trade and consumption of wildlife such as civet cats and bamboo rats.

China feeds 22 percent of the world’s population with only 10 percent of the world’s arable land. That creates extra incentive for China to improve food standards and production, including through the use of advanced technology.

-www.washingtonpost.com, 24 August 2020

Arno's commentary

This new invention, or better said, the practical implementation of existing inventions, carries great promise for communist China. The country that cleverly implemented a mixture of communism, socialism, and capitalism, has now become the economic giant of planet earth. Chinese media claim their economy has already surpassed the US. How accurate this is, remains to be seen. One thing is clear: China will be the number one country in the not-too-distant future.

These reports have caused Europe to be alarmed, as well as the USA. Yet most developing countries welcome China’s success. According to Wikipedia, China donates $38 billion in development aid, with the Unites States at $34.6 billion, and Germany $23.8 billion. Chinese infrastructure is virtually exploding all over the planet. 

Even in Israel, the Chinese company Shanghai International Port Group, will oversee the Haifa Bay port construction for the next 25 years, a move strongly opposed by the US. Yet, despite delays, planning authorities and the Israel Ports Company still believe the construction will begin as planned in 2021.

Wikipedia reports that over a thousand Israeli firms are operating in China. The article states, “Chinese firms play an essential role in the $10 billion kosher food industry, with 500 factories across China producing kosher foods for American and Israeli markets.”

Money talks a strong language, and in the present capital/social/communist system, the market will always win.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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