China takes to face, voice recognition tech to make sure pigs are healthy Sui-Lee Wee & Elsie Chen

A database of every pig’s face. Voice scans that detect hogs with a cough. Robots that dispense 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 staple of Chinese dinner tables. So China’s ebullient technology sector is applying the same techniques it has used to transform Chinese life 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, CEO of Yingzi Technology, a firm in the southern city of Guangzhou that has introduced its vision of a “future pig farm” with facial and voice recognition tech.

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

Many in China are quick to embrace high-tech solutions to just about any problem. This pig push, however, may be a step too soon. Dirk Pfeiffer, a professor of veterinary epidemiology at the City University of Hong Kong said facial recognition won’t help unless China has a comprehensive database of pig faces to track their movement.

Many Chinese pig farmers are also skeptical. Wang Wenjun, a 27-year-old farmer, said, “Farms that have just over a couple hundred pigs will not find a use for the technology.”

Broadly, the Chinese government in recent years has endorsed technology on the farm. Its most recent five-year plan calls for increased use of robotics and network technology. In August, Beijing city agricultural officials praised “raising pigs in a smart way” using the A-B-C-Ds: artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing and data technology.

The companies backing the technology say they can help farmers isolate disease carriers, reduce the cost of feed, increase the fertility of sows and reduce unnatural 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 AI to monitors pigs’ vital statistics, hooks up sows with wearable monitors that can predict the pigs’ ovulation time. JD.com’s facial technology can detect if a pig is sick and try to find out why. Its system would then notify the breeder, who can prescribe treatment. Alibaba’s system monitors hog activity and allows farmers to track the swine in real time, the company said. It would then prescribe an exercise plan to improve their health.

Pig facial recognition works the same way as human facial recognition, the companies say. Scanners and software take in the bristles, 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 He, of Yingzi.

Wang Lixian, a researcher, is optimistic that the cost of the tech will drop. “Right now, these applications may not have reached their desired levels, but in the future they will become more and more extensive.”

 

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Teen sisters become ‘boys’ to keep dad’s barbershop afloat



The girls’ father was paralysed by a stroke five years ago

The girls’ father was paralysed by a stroke five years ago

Gorakhpur:

Every morning, in the village of Banwari Tola in Kushinagar district, Deepak

(17) and Raju (15) unlock the doors of their barbershop and get ready for business. Customers get the usual haircut, shave and, sometimes, head massage from the two “boys”.

Only, Deepak is actually Jyoti, and Raju is Neha, two sisters, who, facing starvation after their father was paralysed by a stroke, began running the shop five years ago. To get around social criticism and unwanted attention from men, the sisters began to dress and talk like boys in public. As they grew older, it became difficult to hide the fact that they were girls. But instead of heading back home to save themselves from the advances of their completely male clientele, they dug in their heels.

“It began five years ago when our father Dhruv Narayan was paralysed,” said Neha. “It was a desperate situation. Our family of five was almost penniless and we were starving. Our father was not recovering from the stroke. So one day, we carried him to the shop, opened the doors, cleaned the floor and mirrors, and waited for customers. We have not looked back ever since.”

It has been an uphill struggle all the way for the girls. “When we started, we knew we had to take precautions. So we cut our own hair first and changed our names. We acted like boys as much as possible, but after a while it was impossible to hide our gender. We were exposed and people publicly criticised us. Some even suggested that we should die instead of cutting men’s hair,” said Jyoti.

Some of the criticism came from the girls’ own family members. “Our four elder sisters are married, and their husbands were also against us working in what they said was a male profession. But we became barbers out of compulsion, not choice. There was nothing else we could have done to feed our family,” said Jyoti.

The sisters have not only managed to keep their family afloat, they also went to school in addition to working at the shop. But their financial situation forced Jyoti to quit studies after Class 12, while Neha left school after Class 10.

The shop is doing well these days by local standards, and they dream of opening a beauty parlour someday. An average day’s earning is between Rs 400 and Rs 500 and the sisters today draw a big crowd of loyal customers. One of them is Ram Dulare (60). “I have been a regular customer here for years. They give the best haircuts, work hard and charge reasonable prices. I only came to know they were girls some days ago. It does not matter,” said Dulare.

Rakesh Gupta (45), also from a neighbouring village, said, “I heard of the shop from my neighbours and decided to visit. I am very happy with my haircut. They know their job very well.” Gupta had no idea that his barber, Raju, was a girl.

The parents, Dhruv Narayan and Lilawati, are proud of their daughters. “My daughters are priceless. They are worth more than most sons are. I do not care what other people say. Nobody helped us when we needed it. Now the girls want to open a beauty parlour and I support them,” Narayan said.

Kushinagar joint district magistrate Abhishek Pandey and local MLA Mani Tripathi have visited the family, given them a cash award and promised the girls help with their dreams for a salon.

 

TRAVEL SHOW

15,000+ TRADE VISITORS TO ATTEND INDIA’S BIGGEST TRAVEL SHOW

Emerging as the clear winner in the travel trade show scene, the three-day OTM Mumbai opens today at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon with exhibitors from 55 countries and 29 states and seven union territories showcasing their travel products and destinations. The show provides travel professionals with an opportunity to showcase their business at one of the largest travel source markets in the world.

The west and south India markets, together contribute over 60 per cent of Indian tourists. The event is strongly endorsed by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

The event is an unique opportunity to connect with key global travel players including national and state tourism organisations, hotels, airlines, destination marketing companies and other suppliers serving leisure as well as MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conference, Exhibitions) markets. Around 15,000 visitors are expected to attend the trade show. The OTM 2019 has participation from Indonesia, Thailand, Greece, Nepal, Taiwan, Korea, Philippines, Maldives, Japan, Macao, State of Palestine, Tanzania, Cambodia, New Zealand, Egypt, Rwanda, Italy, Mauritius, China, Cyprus, Bahrain, Kenya, Romania, Fiji, Botswana, Kazakhstan, and several other countries.

Among the Indian States, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Manipur, Sikkim, Chandigarh, Puducherry, Jharkhand, Lakshadweep, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Nagaland, Tripura and Delhi will show their presence at OTM.

Along with buying and selling opportunities at the show, exhibitors from various countries and states are also slated to make cultural presentations. There will be an equally interesting line-up of panel discussions conducted on the sidelines of the mart.

The Cine Locales, India’s premier marketplace connecting film, television and advertising production houses to global destinations and locations, have a section at OTM. Parallel sessions on destination weddings, travel technology, etc. are also being held. Furthermore, the second edition of OTM India’s Top 100 Travel Producer Awards will be presented at the event. Hundreds of travel producers from all over India will be attending the show to receive the award.

 

Travel companies list

NameDesignationCompany
A AthavleMDCygnet Holidays
A E SaravananProprietorVishwak Tours And Travels
A L Nitin KumarDirectorThe Traveller Tv
A R S DasManaging DirectorSivadas Travel Service
A UpadhyayHelperApex
A.K JhaNoneIndorus
Aabiskar ThapaBusiness ManagerExplore Evenmore Tour & Travels
Aadam BananiDirectorExcursion Holidays
Aadarsh NairManagerInventtravel.Com
Aaditi GujarathiOwnerAnuditi Celebrations
Aafreen ShaikhProprietorCompass Holidays
Aakanksha BharreSr Marketing ExecutiveCherry Holidays
Aakanksha RajeOperations ManagerHarinim Trade & Travels Pvt. Ltd
Aakash AhujaPropertiorAhuja Travels
Aakash GuliaManagerAmar Bus Service
Aakash KanojiaManagerBike Studio
Aakash RelanPartnerToh Chale Holidays
Aakash ShastriPROPRIETORFriends Travel Club
Aakshhay PangareOwnerTourswale
Aalap ModiDIRECTORAjaymoditravels Pvt Ltd
Aalok PanditCo OwnerJourneys Tours & Travels
Aamir Ali ShaikhPropreitorM.A.Travels
Aamir BabaReservation ManagerC Himalaya Tour & Travels
Aamir HokabajProprietorHokabaj Tours & Travels
Aamir KhanSr ManagerDreamfolks Services Pvt Ltd
Aamir SayedChairmanAs Traveldezk Private Limited
Aamir SayyedAssistant Manager – SalesFcm Travel Solutions Pvt Ltd
Aanchal NagpalPropreitorRoche Holidays
Aanchal SaharanRelationship ManagerDbase4Mediagroup
Aarif MemonSales ExecutiveLayka Travel World
Aarshvi DharodOwnerBeyond Horizons
Aarti ChandiramaniExecutive – OperationsSpice Travel Pvt Ltd
Aarti DhurweySenior Tour ManagerWonder Full Trip Travels
Aarti GosaviFreelancerFreelance Travel Agent
Aarti SharmaDeputy Sales ManagerNepcare Hospitality
Aashish BhattSenior Manager Head OfficeJtb Travels Pvt Ltd
Aashish BhattSenior Manager Head OfficeJtb Travels Pvt Ltd
Aashish LoharDirectorBlack Horse Entertainments
Aashish MohattaOwnerMaheshwari Travelcom
Aashita SinghMANAGING DIRECTORMagic Destinations (Opc) Pvt.Ltd.
Aasif Ahmad MirManaging DirectorHoliday Planner Tour And Travels
Ab Siddique TitoManaging Director & CEOExcellence.Asia Ltd.
Abbas MandviwalaDirector – Sales And MarketingShreenathji Holidays Pvt Ltd
Abbas MoizPartnerShoiz International Travel Services
Abbas SathaliyaPrperitorTaher Tours & Travels
Abbasi TankiwalaPartnerDelta Marine
Abdeali JariwalaPartner.Universal Travel & Tours
Abdul AijazManaging DirectorWay 2 Journey Excursion Private Limited
Abdul Hakim KhanProprietorRajasthan Discovery Private Day Tour
Abdul Hameed ShaikhSales ManagerIndian Travel House
Abdul Majeed NiasGeneral ManagerCentral Travels
Abdul MajidManagerShalimar Travels
Abdul Raafay SyedDirectorAirwyn Tours & Travels
Abdul Rashid BadyariCMDFriends Travel Services
Abdul Ravoof KhaderDirectorPatchis Tours And Travel Pvt Ltd
Abdul SamadAdmin And Finance HeadAmsons Tours And Travels Private Limited
Abdul WahabOperation ManagerKusum Travels
Abdul Wahab KhanOperations ManagerMagic Tours & Holidays Pvt Ltd
Abdulla AbdurahimanManagerAkshaya
Abdulla Mohammed Hanif DholakiyaVisa Executive1000Miles Travel
Abdultaiyeb Yusuf KotawalaOwner Of Flytime Tours & TravelsTours & Travels Agency
Abha BhosekarPartnerLeisuroutes
Abha BhosekarPartnerLeisuroutes
Abhas DesaiCo-Founder & CTOTaxido
Abhay KumarPROPRIETORMarutiyatra.Com
Abhay MhatreConsultantantSwapna Travels
Abhay PradhanProprietorTour Outdoors Co
Abhey TharejaStrategic Tie UpsTerraquest Expeditions
Abhi VaghelaOwnerAv Trip Planner
Abhijeet BhujbalPROPRIETORBhoomi Tourism
Abhijeet ChandeCEOHeramb Travel World
Abhijeet DapakeDirectorBindass Ghoom
Abhijeet DeshpandePartnerDeshpande Holidays
Abhijeet KulkarniDirector (Operations)Firastee Tours
Abhijeet MoreVisa ConsultantRainbow Trade Fair Tours Pvt Ltd
Abhijit DasOperations DirectorMakeeasytravel Online Pvt. Ltd.
Abhijit DeshpandeOwnerTravel Craft Holidays
Abhijit HungundProperitorShreeram Travels Khopoli
Abhijit KhasnisManager SalesAtd Representations
Abhijit OvhalOwnerChandranand
Abhijit PuraoDirectorFly Round The World
Abhijit TarlekarProperitorDeluxe Holidays
Abhilash GotpagarManaging DirectorTravel Ikon
Abhilash VakilTravelMy Travel Diary
Abhilasha PathakSr. Tour ConsultantAmigo Tourism Pvt Ltd
Abhilasha PereiraDirectorAlieandra Tours & Travels
Abhimanyu JalanCEOR S Tour & Travels
AbhinavFounderTrip Flavors
Abhinav AgrawalPropriterVision World Travel
Abhinav BhatCo-founderSnapCard
Abhinav MalushteBusiness Development ManagerTala Properties Pvt Ltd
Abhinav NagrathDirectorRoadlink Travel Organizers Private Limited
Abhinav SethiBusiness Development ManagerDelving Overseas
Abhinav SinghSr. ConsultantLocobuzz Solution Pvt Ltd
Abhineet MankatalaCeoAl Hind Group
Abhiram NayakRegion Head – PuneMyroadtrippr Adventures
Abhirath Vishwajeet PatilM.DRaj International Holidays Pvt Ltd
Abhishek AgrawalDirectorKanishk Travels
Abhishek AmiparaOwnerParyatantours
Abhishek BagleOwnerTour Your Travel
 

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