Elephants counted from space for conservation 科學家利用衛星圖像統計非洲大象的數量

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科學家們首次利用衛星圖像統計非洲大象的數量。照片由一顆在地表 600 公里( 372 英里)外軌道上運行的地球觀測衛星拍攝。這一突破可以讓人們在無雲日裡對 5000 平方公里的大象棲息地進行觀測。

When you first look at it, the image is a series of grey blobs amid a forest of green splotches. But when you study it closely, the picture the researchers are using, taken from space, is of a herd of elephants wandering through the trees.

乍眼一看,這些圖像是綠色斑點狀森林中的一塊塊灰色團狀物。但當你仔細觀察後會發現,研究人員們所使用的這張從太空中拍攝的照片其實是一群在林間漫步的大象。

The scientists used a series of these images – pictures of one National Park in South Africa, taken by a satellite – to test a new way of monitoring the African elephant population.

科學家們利用了一系列由衛星拍攝的南非一個國家公園的圖像,來測試一種用於監測非洲大象數量的新方法。

The laborious task of actually counting the animals was all done via machine learning. By essentially showing a computer dozens of these pictures, the researchers trained it to correctly pick out and count elephants amid trees, rocks and other animals.

實際統計動物數量的艱巨任務是通過機器學習算法完成的。實際上就是通過向電腦展示幾十張這樣的照片,研究人員訓練計算機在樹木、岩石和其它動物中正確識別並清點大象的數量。

The scientists say this combination of space-based imaging and artificial intelligence could boost conservation efforts by allowing thousands of square miles of habitat to be surveyed in a single day.

科學家們表示,結合天基成像和人工智能,可以在一天之內對數千平方英里的大象棲息地進行觀測,從而促進動物保護工作。

詞彙表

blobs 團
splotches 斑點,污點
herd (動物)群
wandering 遊蕩,漫步
satellite 人造衛星
monitoring 監測
machine learning 機器學習
combination 結合,組合
space-based imaging 天基成像
artificial intelligence 人工智能
boost 促進,推動
habitat 棲息地

閱讀理解:請在讀完上文後,回答下列問題。

1. True or false? The pictures mentioned in the text were taken in a National Park in South Africa.

2. For what purpose did the scientists use the images?

3. How was the task of counting elephants carried out?

4. According to the scientists, what could the combination of space-based imaging and artificial intelligence mean for the future?

答案  

1. True or false? The pictures mentioned in the text were taken in a National Park in South Africa.
False. These pictures were taken from space by a satellite.

2. For what purpose did the scientists use the images?
They used them to test a new way of monitoring the African elephant population.

3. How was the task of counting elephants carried out?
The laborious task of actually counting the animals was all carried out via machine learning.

4. According to the scientists, what could the combination of space-based imaging and artificial intelligence mean for the future?
They say it could boost conservation efforts by allowing thousands of square miles of habitat to be surveyed in a single day.