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时间:2019-03-06 12:36 来源: 作者: 点击:

A database of every pig’s face. Voice scans that detect hogs with a cough. Robots that dispense just the right amount of feed. 一个记录了每一头猪的面孔的数据库。可以发现咳嗽猪只的声音扫描。可以精确配发适量饲料的机器人。 This could be China’s pig farm of the future. 这可能就是中国的未来养猪场。 Chinese companies are pushing facial and voice recognition and other advanced technologies as ways to protect the country’s pigs. In this Year of the Pig, many Chinese hogs are dying from a deadly swine disease, threatening the country’s supply of pork, a staple of Chinese dinner tables. 中国企业正在推进面部和语音识别等先进技术,用来保护中国的生猪。今年是猪年,有许多猪死于一种致命猪瘟,威胁到中国的猪肉供应——这种肉类是中国人餐桌上的一个重要元素。 So China’s ebullient technology sector is applying the same techniques it has used to transform Chinese life — and, more darkly, that the Chinese government increasingly uses to spy on its own people — to make sure its pigs are in the pink of health. 所以,中国充满活力的科技行业正在应用那些曾改变中国人生活的技术——这些技术还有更阴暗的用途,中国政府正越来越多地用它们来监视自己的人民——确保生猪的健康。 “If they are not happy, and not eating well, in some cases you can predict whether the pig is sick,” said Jackson He, chief executive officer of Yingzi Technology, a small firm based in the southern city of Guangzhou that has introduced its vision of a “future pig farm” with facial and voice recognition technologies. “如果它们不开心,不好好吃东西,在某些情况下,你可以推知猪生病了,”影子科技的首席执行官何京翔说。这家规模不大的公司位于南部城市广州,它提出了通过面部和语音识别技术来实现“未来养猪场”的方案。 China’s biggest tech firms want to pamper pigs, too. Alibaba, the e-commerce giant, and JD.com, its rival, are using cameras to track pigs’ faces. Alibaba also uses voice-recognition software to monitor their coughs. 中国最大的科技公司也想宠爱猪。电子商务巨头阿里巴巴(Alibaba)和它的竞争对手京东(JD.com)正在使用摄像头追踪猪的脸。阿里巴巴还使用语音识别软件来监控它们的咳嗽。 Many in China are quick to embrace high-tech solutions to just about any problem. A digital revolution has transformed China into a place where nearly anything — financial services, spicy takeout, manicures and dog grooming, to name a few — can be summoned with a smartphone. Facial recognition has been deployed in public bathrooms to dispense toilet paper, in train stations ;to apprehend criminals and in housing complexes to open doors. 在中国,很多人乐于用高科技解决方案去处理一切问题。数字革命将中国变成了一个几乎任何事情都可以用智能手机搞定的地方——金融服务、辛辣的外卖、美甲和宠物狗美容等等。面部识别技术已经出现在公共厕所(用于发放厕纸)、火车站,用于抓捕犯罪分子以及住宅小区的门禁。 This pig push, however, may be a step too soon. 然而,用在猪身上可能还为时过早。 “I like the idea, I like the concept, but I need to be shown that it works,” said Dirk Pfeiffer, a professor of veterinary epidemiology at the City University of Hong Kong. “Because if it doesn’t work, it’s counterproductive.” “我喜欢这个想法,我喜欢这个概念,但它的效果还有待证明,”香港城市大学(City University of Hong Kong)兽医流行病学教授迪尔克·法伊弗(Dirk Pfeiffer)说。“因为如果无效的话,就会起到适得其反的作用。” Facial recognition won’t help unless China has a comprehensive database of pig faces to track their movement, he pointed out. Also, facial recognition doesn’t help “once the animal is in the slaughterhouse and they chop it into bits.” 他指出,除非中国有一个全面的猪只面部数据库来跟踪它们的动向,否则面部识别不会有什么作用。此外,“一旦动物进了屠宰场,被剁成块”,面部识别也就没用了。 “How then can you connect the head to the rest of the carcass?” Professor Pfeiffer asked. “你要怎么把头和身体的其余部分联系起来呢?”法伊弗问道。 Many of China’s pig farmers are also skeptical. China is in the midst of closing and consolidating many of its small pig farms, blaming them for polluting the environment. But there are still 26 million small pig farms in the country, representing about half the number of farms, according to the agriculture ministry and experts. 中国的许多养猪户对此也持怀疑态度。目前,中国正在关闭、整合许多小养猪场,认为它们污染环境。但据农业部和专家称,中国仍有2600万座小养猪场,约占全国养猪场数量的一半。 “We will not choose to invest in these things,” said Wang Wenjun, a 27-year-old farmer who won a modest amount of fame after he uploaded videos of himself singing to his hogs. “我们不会选择投资这些东西,”27岁的农民王文军(音)说。他把自己对着猪唱歌的视频传到网上后,获得了一点知名度。 “Unless it’s a large-scale pig farm, farms that have just over a couple hundred pigs will not find a use for it.” “除非是大型养猪场,只有几百头猪的养猪场用不上它。” Broadly, the Chinese government in recent years has endorsed technology on the farm. Its most recent five-year plan, a major economic planning document, calls for increased use of robotics and network technology. In October, the State Council, or China’s cabinet, said it wanted to promote “intelligent farming” and the application of information technology in agriculture. In August, Beijing city agricultural officials praised “raising pigs in a smart way” using the A-B-C-Ds: artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing and data technology. 总体上讲,中国政府近年来大力推进科技在农场的运用。在最近的五年计划里——这是经济规划方面的重要文件,呼吁加大机器人和网络技术的运用。去年10月,国务院曾表示,希望推动“智能农场”,以及信息技术在农业上的应用。去年8月,北京市的农业官员对利用ABCD的智慧养猪大加赞赏。A是人工智能,B是区块链,C是云计算,D是数据技术。 So when African swine fever swept through China’s farms, the country’s technology companies saw an opportunity. The disease has no known vaccine or cure. It can spread through contact between animals or through infected pig products, meaning it can lurk for months in sausages or ham. It doesn’t affect humans, but they can carry it. China has culled nearly a million pigs, set up roadblocks and built fences, to no avail. 于是当非洲猪瘟席卷中国养猪场时,中国的科技公司看到了机会。该疾病尚无已知的疫苗或疗法。它可以通过动物之间的接触、或通过受感染的猪肉产品传播,这意味着它可以在香肠或火腿里潜伏好几个月。它不会导致人类感染,但人类可以成为病毒携带者。中国已经扑杀了近百万头猪,设置路障,竖起篱笆,但都无济于事。 There’s a lot at stake. China is the world’s largest pig breeder, with a current population of about 400 million, and its largest pork consumer. The meat is so important that the country has its own strategic pork reserve in the event of a shortage. 这关系到很多事情。中国是世界上最大的生猪养殖国,当前养殖量约为4亿头,也是最大的猪肉消费国。猪肉如此重要,以致于中国有自己的战略性猪肉储备,以防出现短缺。 The disease could also ripple across borders. It has been found in sausages transported by Chinese tourists in Australia, Taiwan, Japan and Thailand, stoking fears that it could end up in the United States. A prolonged outbreak could cause prices to rise globally. 非洲猪瘟还可能波及到边境以外。在中国游客带到澳大利亚、台湾、日本和泰国的香肠中都发现了猪瘟病毒,从而引发其可能会传到美国的担忧。长时间的疫情爆发可能会导致全球价格上涨。 Government rules to fight the swine fever prevent outsiders from visiting pig farms to see the technology in action, so claims by the companies couldn’t be independently verified. Local media and the companies said several big farms use the systems. 政府下达的抗击猪瘟令阻止外部人士访问养猪场,查看在使用中的技术,因此企业所声称的情况无法进行独立核实。当地媒体和一些公司称,几家大型养猪场在用这类系统。 The companies backing the technology say they can help farmers isolate disease carriers, reduce the cost of feed, increase the fertility of sows and reduce unnatural deaths. JD.com’s system uses robots to feed pigs the correct amount of food depending on the animals’ stage of growth. SmartAHC, a company that uses A.I. to monitors pigs’ vital statistics that offers commercially available services, hooks up sows with wearable monitors that can predict the pigs’ ovulation time. 支持该技术的公司称,他们能帮助猪农隔离携带病毒的病猪,降低饲养成本,增强母猪的生育能力,减少非正常死亡。京东的系统通过机器人,根据相应的生长阶段,给猪喂食适量食物。睿畜科技使用人工智能对猪只进行生命统计,并提供商用服务,他们给母猪扣上可预测猪排卵时间的可穿戴监测器。 They pitch their technologies as an alternative to the tagging of pigs’ ears, a practice that many farmers find cruel. The tags — which are far cheaper — can be manipulated by humans or fall off if pigs get into fights, they point out. 他们标榜自己的技术是给猪戴耳标的替代方式,后一种做法让很多猪农感到残忍。他们认为,便宜得多的耳标可以被人为篡改,如果猪打起架来则可能会脱落。 JD.com’s facial technology can detect if a pig is sick and try to find out why, said a spokeswoman, Lu Yishan. Its system would then notify the breeder, who can then prescribe treatment. The company said that it has put the system into use at a farm in China’s northern Hebei Province that it created with China Agricultural University in Beijing, and that it is for sale to willing farmers. 京东的面部识别技术可检测猪是否患病,并试图找出病因,发言人陆一姗(音)称。其系统随后会通知饲养人,以便他开药治疗。京东称该系统已经应用于北方省份河北的一座养殖场,是京东与北京的中国农业大学共同创办的,此外也会对外出售给愿意购买的猪农。 Alibaba’s system monitors hog activity and allows farmers to track the swine in real time, the company said in a statement. It would then prescribe an exercise plan to improve their health. Its marketing video shows pigs running in the woods and playing with a ball. Alibaba said Tequ Group, a large pig farming company based in the southwestern province of Sichuan, uses the technology. Tequ didn’t respond to a request for comment. 阿里巴巴在声明中称其系统可监测猪的活动情况,使猪农得以实时跟踪猪瘟疫情。系统还会制定锻炼计划以改善猪的健康。营销视频显示猪在林子里奔跑玩球。阿里巴巴称,总部位于西南省份四川的大型养猪公司特驱集团使用了该技术。特驱未回应置评请求。 Pig facial recognition works the same way as human facial recognition, the companies say. Scanners and software take in the bristles, the snout, the eyes and ears. The features are mapped. Pigs don’t all look alike when you know what to look for, they said. 猪脸识别和人脸识别工作原理相同,两家公司称。猪鬃、猪嘴、猪眼和猪耳被录入扫描仪和软件,将这些特性绘制出来。如果你知道该往哪里看,猪的长相并非一模一样,他们说。 “It’s just like how a human face is different from others,” said Mr. He, of Yingzi. “和人脸的互不相同是一回事,”影子科技的何京翔说。 The pigs don’t always cooperate. Yingzi, which introduced its products commercially last year, uses video to capture them in motion. 有时候猪会不愿意配合。去年推出了商用产品的影子科技用视频捕捉猪的动态。

“You can’t take a single picture of a pig,” said Mr. He, who is trying to add to his database of more than 200,000 pig images. He said his technology, which is being used in a pig farm in the southern region of Guangxi, won’t eliminate swine fever but could help farmers detect it sooner. “你不能只是拍一张猪的照片,”何京翔说,他试图把20多万张猪的图片添加到他的数据库中。他说他的技术无法消除猪瘟,但能帮助猪农更早地检测到病情。其技术目前在南方省份广西的一家养猪场得以应用。 Not everybody in the pig technology field agrees on approach. 在养猪技术领域,并非人人都同意这种做法。 Chen Haokai, the co-founder of SmartAHC, said farmers don’t really need facial recognition. According to Mr. Chen, the cost of trying to map a pig’s face is about $7 versus $0.30 for tagging a pig’s ear. He said his products are used by four pig breeding companies. 睿畜科技联合创始人陈浩凯称,猪农其实并不需要猪脸识别。他表示,绘制一张猪脸的成本约为7美元,给猪戴耳标则只需0.3美元。他说他的产品有四家养猪公司在用。 “We found that in trying to capture the faces of pigs, the labor cost far exceeds that of tagging,” he said. “我们发现,在捕捉猪脸方面,工本远远超过耳标,”他说。 Wang Lixian, a research fellow of animal and veterinary science at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, is optimistic that the cost of the technologies will drop. 中国农业科学院畜牧兽医研究所研究员王立宪乐观地表示,这类技术的成本将会下降。 “Right now, these applications may not have reached their desired levels,” he said, “but in the future they will become more and more extensive.” “眼下,这些应用可能还没达到理想价位,”他说,“但未来它们会变得越来越广泛。”

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