Moore’s law and why it matters for predator eradication

Prototype Cacophonometer with two Raspberry Pis, running heat and infrared cameras,
with the video uploaded to remote cloud servers.

Moore's law is the observation that, over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. This has morphed into a remarkably consistent observation that Information Technology either doubles in performance or halves in cost about every two years.

  • Cost of data collection is falling dramatically
  • Cost of data storage is falling dramatically
  • Cost of analysing the data is falling dramatically
  • Cost of sending data wirelessly is falling dramatically

Any approaches using computers and data are likely to fall in price and increase in effectiveness over time. Things that sound ridiculous today will possibly be viable much sooner than you may think. Knowing this trend influences our technology development strategy. Some examples include:

  • Identification – an “expensive” method like camera and Artificial Intelligence (AI) that can pick up 100% of predators for a few hundred dollars is better than improving “inexpensive” chew cards and tracking tunnels that only pick up some predators. One option will get twice as good or half the prices consistently – the other will not.
  • Lure – digital lures (sound and light) that can be tried in tens of thousands of combinations are more scalable than smell or food based lures. 
  • Monitoring – automated remote monitoring will become dramatically cheaper, reducing labour costs and allowing experimentation at possibly thousands of times the rate of manual experiments.

It looks possible to create devices that can use sound lures to draw pests in, identify them with image recognition and kill them without needing human intervention. One day it may be possible to have devices cheap enough to sprinkle in the forest from a helicopter or have drones move lines of the devices up the country eliminating all predators as they go. Moore’s law is on our side. The solutions should be able to evolve faster than the pests and help get the Cacophony back.