Below is an amended article from the New Scientist DAILY NEWS 16 November 2017. With thanks to Dr Scott Turner of Northampton University for tweeting the link:
Elephants can damage nut and banana plantations because they are too big, tough and smart to scare off once they start eating. Now, Australian researchers have developed an AI scarecrow that can do the job.
Scarecrow technology has a long history of failure, and not just for elephants – animals quickly get used to scarecrows and ignore them. Many growers have described birds perching and even roosting on devices that were designed to scare them off. So researchers from CSIRO, Australia’s national research organization, decided the answer was artificial intelligence.
Their AI scarecrow has three elements: sensors that detect what kind of pest is approaching, a processing brain to identify them and decide how best to respond, and deterrent devices that can respond intelligently with the right combination of sound or light.
Some questions for you to answer to discuss next Tuesday:
- Can you say what AI stands for and describe in your own words what it is?
- Can you write an algorithm for this scarecrow (If This, Then That)?
- What do you think this scarecrow should look like?
- Can you think of any other uses for this invention?
- Can anyone try to code a project like this in Scratch?! Prize: anyone who makes it in Scratch can work as a small team with one of our lovely volunteers to try to then develop it using Micro:bits.