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添加时间:2019-03-08 10:58:57 浏览次数: 作者:未知
  • A database of every pig’s face. Voice scans that detect hogs2 with a cough. Robots that dispense3 just the right amount of feed.


    This could be China’s pig farm of the future.


    Chinese companies are pushing facial and voice recognition and other advanced technologies as ways to protect the country’s pigs. In this Year of the Pig, many Chinese hogs are dying from a deadly swine disease, threatening the country’s supply of pork, a staple4 of Chinese dinner tables.


    So China’s ebullient5 technology sector6 is applying the same techniques it has used to transform Chinese life — and, more darkly, that the Chinese government increasingly uses to spy on its own people — to make sure its pigs are in the pink of health.


    “If they are not happy, and not eating well, in some cases you can predict whether the pig is sick,” said Jackson He, chief executive officer of Yingzi Technology, a small firm based in the southern city of Guangzhou that has introduced its vision of a “future pig farm” with facial and voice recognition technologies.


    China’s biggest tech firms want to pamper7 pigs, too. Alibaba, the e-commerce giant, and JD.com, its rival, are using cameras to track pigs’ faces. Alibaba also uses voice-recognition software to monitor their coughs.


    Many in China are quick to embrace high-tech8 solutions to just about any problem. A digital revolution has transformed China into a place where nearly anything — financial services, spicy9 takeout, manicures and dog grooming10, to name a few — can be summoned with a smartphone. Facial recognition has been deployed11 in public bathrooms to dispense toilet paper, in train stations ;to apprehend12 criminals and in housing complexes to open doors.


    This pig push, however, may be a step too soon.


    “I like the idea, I like the concept, but I need to be shown that it works,” said Dirk Pfeiffer, a professor of veterinary epidemiology at the City University of Hong Kong. “Because if it doesn’t work, it’s counterproductive.”

    “我喜欢这个想法,我喜欢这个概念,但它的效果还有待证明,”香港城市大学(City University of Hong Kong)兽医流行病学教授迪尔克·法伊弗(Dirk Pfeiffer)说。“因为如果无效的话,就会起到适得其反的作用。”

    Facial recognition won’t help unless China has a comprehensive database of pig faces to track their movement, he pointed13 out. Also, facial recognition doesn’t help “once the animal is in the slaughterhouse and they chop it into bits.”


    “How then can you connect the head to the rest of the carcass?” Professor Pfeiffer asked.


    Many of China’s pig farmers are also skeptical14. China is in the midst of closing and consolidating15 many of its small pig farms, blaming them for polluting the environment. But there are still 26 million small pig farms in the country, representing about half the number of farms, according to the agriculture ministry16 and experts.


    “We will not choose to invest in these things,” said Wang Wenjun, a 27-year-old farmer who won a modest amount of fame after he uploaded videos of himself singing to his hogs.


    “Unless it’s a large-scale pig farm, farms that have just over a couple hundred pigs will not find a use for it.”


    Broadly, the Chinese government in recent years has endorsed17 technology on the farm. Its most recent five-year plan, a major economic planning document, calls for increased use of robotics and network technology. In October, the State Council, or China’s cabinet, said it wanted to promote “intelligent farming” and the application of information technology in agriculture. In August, Beijing city agricultural officials praised “raising pigs in a smart way” using the A-B-C-Ds: artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing18 and data technology.


    So when African swine fever swept through China’s farms, the country’s technology companies saw an opportunity. The disease has no known vaccine19 or cure. It can spread through contact between animals or through infected pig products, meaning it can lurk20 for months in sausages or ham. It doesn’t affect humans, but they can carry it. China has culled21 nearly a million pigs, set up roadblocks and built fences, to no avail.


    There’s a lot at stake. China is the world’s largest pig breeder, with a current population of about 400 million, and its largest pork consumer. The meat is so important that the country has its own strategic pork reserve in the event of a shortage.


    The disease could also ripple22 across borders. It has been found in sausages transported by Chinese tourists in Australia, Taiwan, Japan and Thailand, stoking fears that it could end up in the United States. A prolonged outbreak could cause prices to rise globally.


    Government rules to fight the swine fever prevent outsiders from visiting pig farms to see the technology in action, so claims by the companies couldn’t be independently verified. Local media and the companies said several big farms use the systems.


    The companies backing the technology say they can help farmers isolate23 disease carriers, reduce the cost of feed, increase the fertility of sows and reduce unnatural24 deaths. JD.com’s system uses robots to feed pigs the correct amount of food depending on the animals’ stage of growth. SmartAHC, a company that uses A.I. to monitors pigs’ vital statistics that offers commercially available services, hooks up sows with wearable monitors that can predict the pigs’ ovulation time.


    They pitch their technologies as an alternative to the tagging of pigs’ ears, a practice that many farmers find cruel. The tags — which are far cheaper — can be manipulated by humans or fall off if pigs get into fights, they point out.


    JD.com’s facial technology can detect if a pig is sick and try to find out why, said a spokeswoman, Lu Yishan. Its system would then notify the breeder, who can then prescribe treatment. The company said that it has put the system into use at a farm in China’s northern Hebei Province that it created with China Agricultural University in Beijing, and that it is for sale to willing farmers.


    Alibaba’s system monitors hog1 activity and allows farmers to track the swine in real time, the company said in a statement. It would then prescribe an exercise plan to improve their health. Its marketing25 video shows pigs running in the woods and playing with a ball. Alibaba said Tequ Group, a large pig farming company based in the southwestern province of Sichuan, uses the technology. Tequ didn’t respond to a request for comment.


    Pig facial recognition works the same way as human facial recognition, the companies say. Scanners and software take in the bristles26, the snout, the eyes and ears. The features are mapped. Pigs don’t all look alike when you know what to look for, they said.


    “It’s just like how a human face is different from others,” said Mr. He, of Yingzi.


    The pigs don’t always cooperate. Yingzi, which introduced its products commercially last year, uses video to capture them in motion.


    “You can’t take a single picture of a pig,” said Mr. He, who is trying to add to his database of more than 200,000 pig images. He said his technology, which is being used in a pig farm in the southern region of Guangxi, won’t eliminate swine fever but could help farmers detect it sooner.


    Not everybody in the pig technology field agrees on approach.


    Chen Haokai, the co-founder of SmartAHC, said farmers don’t really need facial recognition. According to Mr. Chen, the cost of trying to map a pig’s face is about $7 versus27 $0.30 for tagging a pig’s ear. He said his products are used by four pig breeding companies.


    “We found that in trying to capture the faces of pigs, the labor cost far exceeds that of tagging,” he said.


    Wang Lixian, a research fellow of animal and veterinary science at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, is optimistic that the cost of the technologies will drop.


    “Right now, these applications may not have reached their desired levels,” he said, “but in the future they will become more and more extensive.”


     10级    双语 


    1 hog [hɒg] TrYzRg   第10级
    • He is greedy like a hog. 他像猪一样贪婪。
    • Drivers who hog the road leave no room for other cars. 那些占着路面的驾驶员一点余地都不留给其他车辆。
    2 hogs [hɔ:gz] 8a3a45e519faa1400d338afba4494209   第10级
    n.(尤指喂肥供食用的)猪( hog的名词复数 );(供食用的)阉公猪;彻底地做某事;自私的或贪婪的人
    • 'sounds like -- like hogs grunting. “像——像是猪发出的声音。 来自英汉文学 - 汤姆历险
    • I hate the way he hogs down his food. 我讨厌他那副狼吞虎咽的吃相。 来自辞典例句
    3 dispense [dɪˈspens] lZgzh   第7级
    • Let us dispense the food. 咱们来分发这食物。
    • The charity has been given a large sum of money to dispense as it sees fit. 这个慈善机构获得一大笔钱,可自行适当分配。
    4 staple [ˈsteɪpl] fGkze   第7级
    • Tea is the staple crop here. 本地产品以茶叶为大宗。
    • Potatoes are the staple of their diet. 土豆是他们的主要食品。
    5 ebullient [ɪˈbʌliənt] C89y4   第11级
    • He was ebullient over the reception of his novel. 他因小说获好评而兴高采烈。
    • She wrote the ebullient letter when she got back to her flat. 她一回到自己的寓所,就写了那封热情洋溢的信。
    6 sector [ˈsektə(r)] yjczYn   第7级
    • The export sector will aid the economic recovery. 出口产业将促进经济复苏。
    • The enemy have attacked the British sector. 敌人已进攻英国防区。
    7 pamper [ˈpæmpə(r)] y4uzA   第10级
    • Don't pamper your little daughter. 别把你的小女儿娇坏了!
    • You need to pamper yourself and let your charm come through. 你需要对自己放纵一些来表现你的魅力。
    8 high-tech [haɪ tek] high-tech   第7级
    • The economy is in the upswing which makes high-tech services in more demand too. 经济在蓬勃发展,这就使对高科技服务的需求量也在加大。
    • The quest of a cure for disease with high-tech has never ceased. 人们希望运用高科技治疗疾病的追求从未停止过。
    9 spicy [ˈspaɪsi] zhvzrC   第7级
    • The soup tasted mildly spicy. 汤尝起来略有点辣。
    • Very spicy food doesn't suit her stomach. 太辣的东西她吃了胃不舒服。
    10 grooming [ˈgru:mɪŋ] grooming   第8级
    n. 修饰, 美容,(动物)梳理毛发
    • You should always pay attention to personal grooming. 你应随时注意个人仪容。
    • We watched two apes grooming each other. 我们看两只猩猩在互相理毛。
    11 deployed [diˈplɔid] 4ceaf19fb3d0a70e329fcd3777bb05ea   第8级
    (尤指军事行动)使展开( deploy的过去式和过去分词 ); 施展; 部署; 有效地利用
    • Tanks have been deployed all along the front line. 沿整个前线已部署了坦克。
    • The artillery was deployed to bear on the fort. 火炮是对着那个碉堡部署的。
    12 apprehend [ˌæprɪˈhend] zvqzq   第8级
    • I apprehend no worsening of the situation. 我不担心局势会恶化。
    • Police have not apprehended her killer. 警察还未抓获谋杀她的凶手。
    13 pointed [ˈpɔɪntɪd] Il8zB4   第7级
    • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil. 他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
    • A safety pin has a metal covering over the pointed end. 安全别针在尖端有一个金属套。
    14 skeptical ['skeptɪkəl] MxHwn   第7级
    • Others here are more skeptical about the chances for justice being done. 这里的其他人更为怀疑正义能否得到伸张。
    • Her look was skeptical and resigned. 她的表情是将信将疑而又无可奈何。
    15 consolidating [kənˈsɔlideitɪŋ] 6c04b889a235c3f1fd1ba84bc5ca1f80   第7级
    v.(使)巩固, (使)加强( consolidate的现在分词 );(使)合并
    • These measures are meant for consolidating the system of basic medical care. 这些举措旨在夯实基层医疗体系,让老百姓看大病不必出远门。 来自互联网
    • We are consolidating the Chinese and English versions of our homepage. 我们将为您提供中英文版本一起的主页。 来自互联网
    16 ministry [ˈmɪnɪstri] kD5x2   第7级
    • They sent a deputation to the ministry to complain. 他们派了一个代表团到部里投诉。
    • We probed the Air Ministry statements. 我们调查了空军部的报告。
    17 endorsed [enˈdɔ:st] a604e73131bb1a34283a5ebcd349def4   第7级
    vt.& vi.endorse的过去式或过去分词形式v.赞同( endorse的过去式和过去分词 );在(尤指支票的)背面签字;在(文件的)背面写评论;在广告上说本人使用并赞同某产品
    • The committee endorsed an initiative by the chairman to enter discussion about a possible merger. 委员会通过了主席提出的新方案,开始就可能进行的并购进行讨论。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    • The government has broadly endorsed a research paper proposing new educational targets for 14-year-olds. 政府基本上支持建议对14 岁少年实行新教育目标的研究报告。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    18 computing [kəm'pju:tiŋ] tvBzxs   第7级
    • to work in computing 从事信息处理
    • Back in the dark ages of computing, in about 1980, they started a software company. 早在计算机尚未普及的时代(约1980年),他们就创办了软件公司。
    19 vaccine [ˈvæksi:n] Ki1wv   第8级
    • The polio vaccine has saved millions of lives. 脊髓灰质炎疫苗挽救了数以百万计的生命。
    • She takes a vaccine against influenza every fall. 她每年秋季接种流感疫苗。
    20 lurk [lɜ:k] J8qz2   第8级
    • Dangers lurk in the path of wilderness. 在这条荒野的小路上隐伏着危险。
    • He thought he saw someone lurking above the chamber during the address. 他觉得自己看见有人在演讲时潜藏在会议厅顶上。
    21 culled [kʌld] 14df4bc70f6bf01d83bf7c2929113cee   第12级
    v.挑选,剔除( cull的过去式和过去分词 )
    • The herd must be culled. 必须有选择地杀掉部分牧畜。 来自辞典例句
    • The facts were culled from various sources. 这些事实是从各方收集到的。 来自辞典例句
    22 ripple [ˈrɪpl] isLyh   第7级
    n.涟波,涟漪,波纹,粗钢梳;vt.使...起涟漪,使起波纹; vi.呈波浪状,起伏前进
    • The pebble made a ripple on the surface of the lake. 石子在湖面上激起一个涟漪。
    • The small ripple split upon the beach. 小小的涟漪卷来,碎在沙滩上。
    23 isolate [ˈaɪsəleɪt] G3Exu   第7级
    • Do not isolate yourself from others. 不要把自己孤立起来。
    • We should never isolate ourselves from the masses. 我们永远不能脱离群众。
    24 unnatural [ʌnˈnætʃrəl] 5f2zAc   第9级
    • Did her behaviour seem unnatural in any way? 她有任何反常表现吗?
    • She has an unnatural smile on her face. 她脸上挂着做作的微笑。
    25 marketing [ˈmɑ:kɪtɪŋ] Boez7e   第8级
    • They are developing marketing network. 他们正在发展销售网络。
    • He often goes marketing. 他经常去市场做生意。
    26 bristles ['brɪsəlz] d40df625d0ab9008a3936dbd866fa2ec   第8级
    短而硬的毛发,刷子毛( bristle的名词复数 )
    • the bristles on his chin 他下巴上的胡楂子
    • This job bristles with difficulties. 这项工作困难重重。
    27 versus [ˈvɜ:səs] wi7wU   第7级
    • The big match tonight is England versus Spain. 今晚的大赛是英格兰对西班牙。
    • The most exciting game was Harvard versus Yale. 最富紧张刺激的球赛是哈佛队对耶鲁队。

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