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Matthew Kendrick, GZERO

Purrfect automated healthcare

Japanese cat owners are turning to a new AI-powered smartphone app that purports to shed light on the perennial question: Is my cat in pain or just mad at me?

The app, called CatsMe!, was developed by researchers at Nihon University as well as the tech startup Carelogy. The developers trained their AI model on thousands of pictures of cats and claim it can snap a picture of your pet’s face to reveal hidden discomfort with 95% accuracy.

The goal is to help cat owners determine when it’s necessary to take their cat to the veterinarian for further examination — and possibly as an early warning for anything as simple as arthritis or as devastating as cancer. In an ideal world, it might save you a couple bucks with fewer trips to the vet — spending on veterinary care doubled between 2010 and 2021, well above the rate of inflation.

SHANGHAI, CHINA - AUGUST 18, 2023 - ICE International Cat Expo at Pet Asia, August 18, 2023

CFOTO via Reuters Connect

AI deciphers the animal kingdom

Artificial intelligence is being used to better understand our friends in the animal kingdom. University of Michigan researchers are using AI to decode the vocalizations of dogs, studying whether their barks convey aggression or playfulness. Interestingly, the researchers are using speech models originally trained on human speech to find patterns and better understand how they’re communicating. Similarly, an initiative called Project CETI is using machine learning to learn more about how sperm whales communicate with another.

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