Machine learning is pretty cool—in fact, the only computer science course I took in college was related to it. So we tend to get excited by novel uses for the technology here at Android Police, and in a recent post to Google's blog, a company called Rainforest Connection came up with an interesting application: Deforestation. 

The specific implementation here is ingenious. By chaining together a system of solar-powered recycled Android phones, each device is able to record ambient audio and upload it online via existing cellular networks. (The rainforest has data, who knew?)

That audio is then analyzed by Rainforest Connection's TensorFlow-powered software to determine which sounds might be indicative of illegal logging, all in real time. That means authorities can respond that much more quickly to those activities, saving precious time and trees.

Currently, Rainforest Connection is only monitoring a fairly dinky 64-acre area, but it plans on expanding that in the future. For more info, you can check out the company's site, or just listen in on some real-time audio streams from the jungle via the Rainforest Connection app on Google Play.

Alternate title: If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? It does to these phones.

Rainforest Connection
Rainforest Connection