Rangers try gaming technology to protect African wildlife

September 30, 2016

The campaign to track down poachers and protect endangered species in Africa’s embattled reserves is tapping into the technology used in the virtual world of online poker and other computer games.


A U.S.-funded initiative is applying artificial intelligence and game theory algorithms to predict the movement of poachers, helping rangers who are testing the new technology in Uganda to find illegal hunters and their animal traps.

“We’re trying to predict future poacher attacks or where poachers may strike next based on what we have observed in the past on our patrols,” Professor Milind Tambe from the University of Southern California, who is leading the initiative, said.

“Each confiscated snare represents an animal’s life saved,” Tambe, whose team is developing technology called Protection Assistant for Wildlife Security (PAWS)


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