Artificial intelligence is helping Costa Rica NGOs preserve biodiversity

Published: 10 October 2023

During a sabbatical year, Prof. Juan Camilo Serpa visited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Costa Rica, and found that while they were doing a lot of great work to help animals, they had little access to advanced technologies like data analytics and artificial intelligence. This inspired Serpa to re-focus his research toward the country’s NGOs, so he could help them implement new technologies that maximize the impact of their efforts. A new study trip to Costa Rica at McGill Desautels builds on this by allowing students to learn about their work and contribute to it, and an information session on the spring 2024 trip will be held on October 27 2023. “One of my favourite projects is using AI for monkey bridges,” said Serpa in an interview with Le Devoir. “Thousands of monkeys get killed on Costa Rica’s roads every year, and one of the solutions is to build bridges in the forest canopy. AI helps us identify where to build the monkey bridges, so that they will save the most lives.


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