Project SEEKER – Microsoft’s Latest AI Project

Microsoft have added a new aspect to their AI for Good Projects and have released a first-of-its-kind artificial intelligence model that will help combat the illicit trade of illegal animal trafficking – and it is being praised by everyone, including Prince William himself. Project SEEKER, as the project has been aptly named, was designed and trained to identify animals or animal products that are used in medicines. 

Illegal Wildlife Trafficking is a $23 Billion industry – it impacts well over 7000 different species and plants with one of the biggest transportation manners being that of storing animals in cargo or shipping them in planes and on boats. We saw a huge decrease in the number of trafficked animals during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when almost all countries had shut their borders! 

TechQuarters are a Gold Microsoft Partner and award-winning IT Managed Services Company in the UK – they have noted that this kind of technology will open up new doors and possibilities for all of us in the future. 

Project developers spent hundreds of hours uploading images of animals and animal parts and manually labelling them so that the AI model could learn to automatically identify these items – it is easily installed in luggage and cargo scanners at airports, border patrol sites, or shipping ports and will be able to automatically alert authorities if any illegal substance is detected.

‘Microsoft has trialled the Azure-based technology at Heathrow Airport, where it scanned up to 250,000 bags a day. It recorded a more than 70% successful detection rate and is particularly effective at identifying ivory items such as tusks and horns.’ – Microsoft News 

The teams have covered a lot of ground – their data includes information that helps identify for animals including bears, leopards, lions, and any illegal products which are known to be used in traditional medicines. It has become abundantly clear that the new kinds of technologies that are now available to us to use are making tackling the problem of the illegal wildlife trade a little bit easier for those involved in helping to bring it to an end. 

If you’d like to find out more about Microsoft Products, you can speak to any Managed IT Support Services Provider who is a register Microsoft Partner to help you. If you like what you hear, then maybe IT Support is needed in your business? You could even look at Outsourced IT Support Services Offerings if you don’t want an in-house IT Team. 

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