The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation this month awarded a $4.8 million grant to a company that sells “smart” face masks for cows.
ZELP, which stands for Zero Emissions Livestock Project, claims its artificial intelligence (AI) mask technology for livestock will reduce methane emissions — considered to be a main greenhouse gas — and curb climate change.
Cows and other ruminant animals emit methane in the process of digesting their food.
The mask goes around the cow’s head and captures the methane gas exhaled by the animal, oxidizing it and then releasing it into the air as carbon dioxide and water vapor, according to ZELP.
It also has sensors that continuously collect millions of data points on the animals that are processed by machine learning algorithms.
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“Our AI is trained to detect heat, flag welfare conditions, and identify the most efficient animals with a high-level of accuracy,” ZELP said.
But critics, including third-generation farmer Howard Vlieger, said the Gates-funded venture is illogical and driven by greed.
Vlieger, who advises crop and livestock farmers across the U.S., said, “This is what you would get when you combine greed and stupidity.”
Critical Sway, a researcher and investigator, tweeted, “You couldn’t make this stuff up. … We’re living in ridiculous times my friends.”
The Annals of Internal Medicine just published a randomized controlled trial comparing the ability of medical masks to prevent COVID infection to fit-tested N95s. Not even N95 masks can stop Covid, finds new study.
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