Following the UK Government’s landmark announcement of plans to introduce a complete ban on the domestic trade in ivory, it was fitting that a new machine learning product designed to tackle the supply end of this illicit trade emerged victorious at the 2017 London Zoohackathon event. And the team has also been announced as the global winner of this year's Zoohackathon.
Coders, creatives and subject matter experts joined together at the Zoohackathon to develop solutions to help reduce demand for wildlife products.
Team ODINN was announced as winner for their project, which intelligently processes images from camera traps in the field and immediately flags to rangers the presence of an elephant or human, allowing those protecting wildlife to identify poaching threats in real time and respond more immediately.
This could be a game changer in the fight against illegal trade, which has seen as many as 20,000 African elephants a year killed for their tusks.
Judges were particularly impressed that ODINN’s hardware and software technology had potential to be easily integrated with existing camera traps.
Following inspiring talks by experts in curbing the Illegal wildlife trade, including John Mann MP, teams went on to produce a host of inventive solutions to the illegal wildlife trade, including an app that flags illegal wildlife products on foreign menus and technology to pull data from across social channels to find illegal sales of threatened species
Co-hosted by the U.S. Embassy London and ZSL (Zoological Society of London), this year’s London Zoohackathon was attended by 80 coders, creatives and conservationists, and was generously supported by Bloomberg.