At the recent American Association of Feline Practitioners Conference, a recurring topic was the use of AI (artificial intelligence) to help detect pain in cats. We all know cats are masters at hiding signs of pain, so any tool that can help us identify pain before cats show signs is a good thing in my book. Tably is a new AI based app that is designed to monitor your cat’s mood by simply pointing your phone at her face.
You can use the app in one of two ways: you can either take a live photo with your camera from within the app, or you can upload an already existing photo to the app.
Tably uses AI trained on vet-approved pain scales such as the Feline Grimace Scale to determine how your cat is feeling, based on subtle facial cues.
The app uses machine learning, which is a subset of AI. By looking at a large number of images, machine learning algorithms can find patterns and use these patterns to assess new photos. So as the dataset grows, the AI model becomes smarter.
I tried the app both ways. When I uploaded a photo of Allegra, Tably said she was happy.
When I tried to capture a live photo, Tably consistently told me she was not happy, even though I’m positive that she was. I suspect my waving the phone in front of her face may have contributed to that result, but I think what’s more likely is that Allegra’s facial markings make her resting facial expression look unhappy.
The app is definitely fun to play with, and by using it, you’ll be helping it get better.
Let me know what results you get if you decide to try it.