The future of AI needs better software

The future of AI needs better software

Blog by Jan Sallevelt, Director International A.I. & Business Development.

The effect AI and AI stations will have on pork production is rapidly changing. New breeding possibilities and fast genetic progress combined with new AI technologies mean that AI will become a supplier of high-value semen that meets individual customer’s specific needs.

Let me explain this in greater detail. Pig breeding is evolving rapidly. Thanks to new technology we know more about the genetic background of boars and we are able to make huge advances in improving genetic progress. This means we have a better understanding of a boar’s specific genetic value and we can make better use of this value for the benefit of the individual customer.

AI technology is also developing rapidly. We are able to produce more doses of semen per boar than in the past, and in future this will be even more still due to better monitoring technology and better extenders, for example. New techniques for semen monitoring make it easier to reject semen of lower quality. We can also inspect semen for new quality traits. This makes it possible to produce more doses per boar without compromising the fertilization results.

Combining these two trends gives boars with the highest specific genetic potential and the technology that makes it possible to produce many doses of semen from these best boars.

This is a perfect development, which puts the pork industry in a winning position. However, it is also a major challenge for the AI station. Now AI is basically the mass production of semen from a certain line that customers want. In the future, it will become a more tailor-made production that uses individual boars for specific customers. How should this be organized? And even more important still, how should this be monitored? The customers must receive exactly the right semen. The management systems currently used by AI stations cannot cope with this.

That is why AIM Worldwide, the AI organization of Topigs Norsvin, has developed a new management system for its AI stations. A team from Spain, the Netherlands and Norway worked on this new system that can cope with the demands of the future. AIM Boar Pro Software is a cloud-based instrument that works with real breeding values to ensure high stud efficiency and risk management. It also enables us to supply our individual customers with the semen they need.

The AI stations within the AIM Worldwide / Topigs Norsvin organization will start to use this software system in 2017 or 2018 and will be ready for the future. Ready to disseminate the genetic progress of pig breeding in a tailor made, secure and efficient way to their customers.