Researchers turn to AI in battle against bovine TB

Mid-infrared (MIR) spectral data can now be analysed ten times faster, screening more cows for bTB
Mid-infrared (MIR) spectral data can now be analysed ten times faster, screening more cows for bTB

Agricultural researchers have teamed up with one of the world's leading artificial intelligence companies to help fight the battle against bovine TB.

The partnership, between Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) and NVIDIA, will accelerate the use of AI and machine learning to battle some of the industry's biggest issues.

Researchers are currently utilising an NVIDIA DGX Station in the fight against bTB, which affected around 37,000 animals this year and costs the country around £176m per year.

Mid-infrared (MIR) spectral data can now be analysed at ten times the speed that it could before, screening more cows for the disease.

The increase in speed allowed researchers to test more models more quickly and achieve results that are comparable to the current skin test approach.

They will work with NVIDIA to enhance SRUC’s new Challenge Centre for Digital and Data Innovation (CCDDI) - a virtual centre for digital and data technology applied to the farming industry.

Professor Wayne Powell, SRUC principal said: "A key goal for AI, machine learning and digital innovation in the industry is to provide trusted evidence that its activities can have a positive impact on climate change, improved animal health outcomes.

“We are looking forward to working more closely with the team at NVIDIA, whose world-leading expertise in AI technology will help us to develop and deploy innovations to improve the lives of farmers.”

Tony Paikeday, senior director of product marketing at NVIDIA, explained that artificial intelligence was 'transforming every industry'.

"SRUC is using AI supercomputing to speed up data analysis and improve milk safety for consumers without the need for data centre infrastructure,” he added.