5 December, 2022

Scientists manage to decipher meanings of emotions in pigs

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen used Artificial Intelligence to study the behavior and feelings of pigs

The analysis is controversial, but maintains that the sounds that these animals emit reflect how their mental health is. Photo: Courtesy.

Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

Denmark – Elodie Briefer, expert in animal communication and who led the analysis, explained that, with the defined algorithm, now what is needed is that someone wants to invest in turning it into an application that farmers use to give better conditions to pigs.

Audio and data recordings of pig behavior in different situations, from birth to death were detailed in an article published by Scientific Report, where the researchers explain that they used Artificial Intelligence to analyze the acoustic signatures of 7.414 sounds of more than 400 animals.

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen used Artificial Intelligence to study the behavior and feelings of pigs. They analyzed their growls and created a translator that converts their sounds and screeches into emotions..

Briefer managed to train a neural network to find out if the animals experienced positive emotions, as happiness or effusiveness. Negative emotions such as fear and anguish were also detected.

Most of the recordings were collected in farm and commercial settings, while the rest were part of experimental enclosures where the pigs were given food, toys and even objects that allowed them to explore and sniff.

The scientists used an algorithm to distinguish the sounds and link them to positive emotions from those linked to negative feelings.. The noises represented emotions from across the spectrum and reflected different situations such as running, get closer to their relatives or littermates until waiting at the slaughterhouse.

According to scientists, this mechanism could be used to automatically monitor pig welfare and advance livestock treatments on farms. Pigs do communicate and their behavior can vary.