Connecterra: Using AI to give nature a voice
At Dutch startup Connecterra, Founders Yasir Khokar and Saad Ansari are using “connected cows” to help tackle the world’s food shortage. “It all started when we asked ourselves if technology could make cows healthier and help farmers increase dairy production”, says Yasir. “A healthy cow can produce 30 litres of milk per day, while an unhealthy cow produces only 10”. Their app, Ida, uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to interpret the behaviour of cows and provide dairy farmers with vital data to improve the health of their herds. Ida works by learning patterns from a cow’s activities — such as eating, drinking and resting — and measures its fertility and temperature levels, all thanks to a wearable sensor. Using TensorFlow, Google’s open source machine-learning platform, the app then makes recommendations to farmers on how to keep their herds healthy.
“With TensorFlow, we’re helping farmers do more than just track the health of their herds; we’re helping them predict and detect common health problems and take action to protect their herds a lot sooner”, says Saad. It is estimated that by 2050, we will need a 60% increase in food production to feed the world’s growing population, and apps like Ida show how AI can be used to help solve such important issues. The sensors are now available in 11 countries, including Western Europe, US, Canada, Mexico and the company has raised €4.2 million Euros to continue growing. The founders are focused on continuing to make a difference to farmers round the world. “Since we launched Ida, farmers are already seeing a 30% increase in their dairy production — and that’s just the start”, says Yasir.