New app uses AI to tell you what your cat is feeling
[July 28, 2021: Rebecca Shavit]
If you’ve ever wondered if your cat is happy, there’s an app for that.
Tably, a new app released by pet health company Sylvester.ai, uses your smartphone’s camera to analyze your cat's facial features to determine whether they are happy or in pain.
This might seem like magic, but Tably asserts that their technology is based off of real science. Tably’s AI uses what veterinary scientists call the Feline Grimace Scale (FGS) to figure out how your cat is feeling.
The development of FGS is generally credited to Paulo Steagall, a professor of veterinary anesthesia and pain management at the University of Montreal, who published his team's findings on FGS in Nature in 2019. According to Steagal, “Depending on the cats’ muzzle, eyes, ears, whiskers, or head position, you can determine whether or not a cat is in pain.”
“The app could help young veterinarians,” said Dr. Liz Ruelle of the Wild Rose Cat Clinic in Calgary, where developers trained the algorithm.
"I love working with cats, have always grown up with cats," she said. "For other colleagues, new grads, who maybe have not had quite so much experience, it can be very daunting to know - is your patient painful?"
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