Conservationists use videogame tech to identify rare animals with camera traps

Camera trap conservationists use gaming
Virtual Giraffe from The Last of Us game (Image credit: Beth Nicholls)

 A new commentary and research study by conservation biologist, Zhengyang Wang, has revealed that gaming engines, such as the popular Unity and Unreal Engine, can in fact be used to render hyper-realistic wildlife and animal images that are good enough to pass as legit images when shown to specific AI software. 

These learning AIs use images – including these gaming engine-generated ones – as a basis for their training to recognize animals that might pass by and trigger a camera trap. Having extra images helps gradually improve the quality of what is referred to as rare-class categorization. 

STUNNING virtual photos I captured using The Last of Us Part I photo mode (Image credit: Beth Nicholls)

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.