Participants of the international summer school at ETU "LETI" will learn how to apply artificial intelligence to protect animal health and welfare

Participants of the international summer school at ETU

At the end of July, ETU "LETI" will host an international online school on Animal-Centered Computing for the first time. Its participants will gain theoretical and practical knowledge from leading international experts in the fields of animal science and technology.

17.07.2020 414

On July 20, 2020, ETU "LETI" will launch the international online summer school on Animal-Centered Computing, which aims to introduce and engage students in activities to improve animal health and well-being using information technology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Students from Israel, Italy, the USA, Austria, Germany, the UK, and Finland have already enrolled in the school.

The summer school is intended for those who want to learn more about this emerging field and acquire skills in using state of the art tools in the field of machine learning and data analytics in the context of animals. Students will discuss technology solutions that can improve the health and welfare of animals, ensure better communication between people and their pets, and advance veterinary science.

The program includes theoretical lectures on animal behavior and tools for its measurement, animal welfare assessment, as well as lectures on animal-computer interactions, designing for animals, and many more.  

Furthermore, practical classes will be held on the use of video data and ML tools for animal behavior analysis. Students will be able to participate in discussions on the topic, present their ideas and developments, and receive feedback from leading researchers. 

"This field is very promising because the problems of human interaction with the environment are very important in our society today. We discuss how modern IT technologies can be used to monitor animal behavior and improve animal health."

Dmitry Kaplun, Head of the Program, Associate Professor of the Department of Automation and Control Processes of ETU "LETI"

Training in the program will be divided into several tracks. One of them will focus on the use of computer vision tools and the Internet of Things to monitor animal health. ETU "LETI" researchers Ivan Tyukin and Evgenia Novikova, together with Admela Jukan (TU Braunschweig, Germany) and Eyal Misha (ENGS Dairy Company, Israel), will take part in this track.

The second area is devoted to animal science and veterinary medicine, which will gather leading experts in these fields, Robert Young from the University of Salford (UK), Eleonora Nannoni from the University of Bologna (Italy), and Oren Forkosh from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel).

Another direction will focus on human-animal relations and methods for designing and developing interfaces for animals. The professors of this track are Orit Hirsch-Matsioulas, an anthropologist on human-animal interaction (Kinneret College, Israel), Alexandre Rossi, veterinarian, zootechnician, and well-known TV presenter for the popular Latin American program on animals (Brazil), as well as experts in designing for animals Clara Mancini (Open University, UK), Patrick C. Shih (Indiana University, USA) and Daniel Metcalfe (Technion, Israel).

"The advances in technologies of computer vision and the Internet of Things can revolutionize the world of animals, our understanding and communication with them. Our goal in creating this school is to build a unique bridge between technology and animal science, to create a dialogue between experts in these fields, and to show students how fascinating this world is, and how many unresolved problems there are that can make a real difference for animals," Anna Zamansky, Program Supervisor, Associate Professor of Information Systems Department at the University of Haifa, said.

The partners of the international summer school on Animal-Centered Computing are the University of Haifa (Israel) and the University of Salford (Manchester, UK). Professors from the North Carolina State University (USA), University of Bristol (UK), University of Bologna (Italy) also took part in the development of the program and will give lectures and workshops within the course.

"The school has already attracted a lot of attention from universities around the world. We have received over 50 applications. Among them are participants from leading universities, for example, the University of Bristol, which is 36th in ARWU ranking and 37th in QS ranking, as well as the KU Leuven, which is 45th in Times Higher Education ranking and 84th in QS ranking. There are also participants from other higher education institutions, which hold high positions in the rankings. Based on the experience from conducting the summer school, it is planned to launch an international master program, in this emerging scientific area." 

Alexandra Kilina, Head of the Preparatory Department for International Students of ETU "LETI"

Under the guidance of international experts, students will be able to develop their ideas in an article to be presented at the Seventh International Conference on Animal-Computer Interaction, which will take place November 10-12, 2020 in Milton Keynes, UK.