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Understanding the possible applications of artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is not the most straightforward task. These are arid and complex subjects. But Roberto Prado, director of Microsoft’s cloud computing business, has the gift of explaining things to others.

I met him, last November, at the Hacking Health Summit, held at FAAP in Ribeirão Preto, a city located in the countryside of São Paulo State, in Brazil.   His speech was inspiring. He reminded a case in which sensors were used to analyze the life of a cow.

On a cattle ranch in Japan, Microsoft has led the development of a solution to control the activities of the herd. The females received electronic anklets, embedded with sensors. The objective was to monitor the physical movement of the animals. Why register the footsteps of a cow? According to Prado, this is the most efficient way to know when the female enters estrus. “Ready-to-breed cows are more active than in other life cycles,” he says.

Prado: By using IoT and AI, the pregnancy rate increases by up to 70%. Photo by Ediane Tiago

By connecting the anklets to the internet, pedometer sensors send real-time information from each animal to systems in the cloud. Thus, data analysis solutions alert the onset of heat – indicating the location of the animal. “Veterinary medicine knows that from the entrance into estrus, there is a window of 12 to 18 hours for insemination,” Prado explains. “For the most part, the ideal moment happens at dawn,” he adds.

Prado estimates that, by determining the most suitable time, the pregnancy rate increases by up to 70%. “This is the internet of things. The possibility of combining scientific discoveries with artificial intelligence to increase productivity, “he concludes.


Photo on top by Ryan Song on Unsplash

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68 thoughts on “Microsoft and the Japanese cows”

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