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Are you ever just blown away with how smart some people are?⁣ ⁣ That is how feel about Enrico Di Minin and Christopher Fink, a couple researchers from the University of Helsinki. I just read a study by the two of them on how they have been using machine learning to identify criminals selling illegal animal products on social media. ⁣ ⁣ According to these researchers, despite social media platforms trying to crack down on this illegal practice (just try to see a recent shot of #pangolin), these platforms continue to be the most popular way to advertise, source, and trade species and wildlife products. ⁣ ⁣ The solution has been hundreds of man hours spent combing through these sites looking for content, however Di Minin and Fink have a better idea. They have been working on training a computer to weed out safe content leaving only the most relevant and potentially illegal posts, in so doing reducing the amount of work experts have to do by about 90%. In other words, this would allow authorities to catch the bad guys much quicker and more efficiently. ⁣ ⁣ Do not be mistaken, this is no simple task. The amount of work and data this project requires is immense. Though they have had some successful trials, I am certain that there is much work to be done before this technology is in wide use.⁣ ⁣ It is efforts like this that give me hope. If we ever stand a chance at turning the pangolin trafficking tide, this is exactly the sort of innovation we need. I am sure I speak for everyone when I say, “God speed and good luck to all working on this project!”⁣ ⁣ ⁣ For more info about efforts made to save pangolins follow pangolinandco⁣ ⁣ ⁣ Photo credit: unknown⁣ ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ #pangolins #pangolinpic #endextinction #research #conservation #study #cause #africa #universityofhelsinki #protect #innovation #machinelearning #smartpeople #endtrafficking #socialmedia #endextinction #endangeredanimal #ai #cool #coolinvention #savethepangolin #fantasticbeast #wildlifephotography