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Sensors and AI are finding their way into the barnyard (economist.com)
33 points by prostoalex 13 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments

I worked on electronically herding cows 10+ years ago and talked with Temple Grandin about it. She thought the idea of relying on sensors alone to monitor animal health was a bad idea. Unless the sensors can detect every possible disease and problem that a rancher or vet can detect in person, the risk is that some animal problems will go unnoticed by the sensors and the animals will suffer. Also the ranchers may not care about that if it reduces costs and profits remain the same, so using sensors could cost lots of animal misery.

The same is true of using sensors to monitor the health of people. Many ideas that the food industry has used to engineer foods for people have come from the cattle industry (who have a big interest in stuffing more food into cows) so testing sensors on cows may be a first step towards using them on people.

non-paywall: https://archive.vn/145aA

Also note this article is from 2019.

> An Austrian firm called smaxtec has developed a sensor that can be swallowed. It lodges inside the reticulum, one of a cow’s four stomachs, and stays there for the rest of the animal’s life, monitoring body temperature, movement and stomach acidity, and uploading the results when the cow is near a wireless detector.

(insert "scream" emoji here)

Dairy farmers already feed cattle a large magnet to catch any pieces of metal that they might eat in the field so it doesn't travel through their intestines. No use getting squeamish about this kind of stuff, it's just how the sausage is made (well, milk and cheese).


There is so much pollution in the fields we have to feed the cows magnets to get it out. That is the funniest thing I've read all day.

Mostly fence nails and 100 year old remneants. Lots of ferric metal can occur naturally and is no better. Its not like garbage or trash as you are so inelequently suggesting. Cows eat nearly anything, so if you take the responsibility for their well-being by raising them, you have to plan accordingly.

Yeah all the naturally occuring ferric metal in Kansas sure is a plague upon our lands. So much natural ferric material just laying around, I'm getting sick of it all!

Let's bring that up instead of talking about the massive amounts of pollution above and below ground. Hilarious.

My grandmother used to make these magnets. They were kind of fun to play with.

Ignoring the fact that someone find a way to use this to sell ads, it is actually a very useful idea for humans as well with some refinement and safety measures.

Having something that keeps tabs on certain vital signals will be huge because you suddenly have a baseline for personalized medicine development!

If it were truly secure and had a trusted “opt out”, I’d consider an implant that would call 911 if:

My heart rate dropped to zero

My blood oxygen percentage fell below 80-90 %

An acceleration above 10-20 g was detected, such as a sudden deceleration during a car crash.

Bonus points if it included my gps coordinates. Perhaps a trusted background app running on my phone listening for an emergency BLE signal from my internal sensor?

I promise as a kid I would have learned to hack grandpas implant to order pizza. Take every digital life intergration with a box of salt.

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