We aren't into peddling prophecies. We are, however, in the business of taking educated guesses. We know that artificial intelligence has entrenched itself in the most modern Ag operations and that it'll only become more integral with time. But what else can we expect from the relationship between farms, grow houses, and AI? What will the future of agriculture look like, as it pertains to smart machines?
These experts are on the front lines of innovation in Ag, and they shared their visions for the future of the AI-agriculture marriage with us. Here's what they said:
1. Roger Royse, founder of the Royse AgTech Innovation Network
“AI will step up to address the farm labor shortage in the United States by replacing people with machines to plant, weed, till and harvest. AI will eventually also manage inputs to a degree of accuracy that is beyond human capacity, thereby reducing cost, increasing output and avoiding waste.”
2. Jeff Klaumann, Chief Technology Officer at Internet of Things America
“Agriculture will benefit from continued advances in deep learning. Simply put, deep learning is a machine’s decision-making ability at a level equivalent to the ability of a human mind. Deep learning algorithms provide machines with capabilities to use information from people and adapt it into the machine’s learning brain, which is also known as an artificial neural network. These capabilities allow machines to make intelligent decisions on a case-by-case basis and treat situations differently. As a result, deep learning has the potential to overcome today’s concerns about machines in nature’s complex environments.”
3. Ash Madgavkar, Founder of Ceres Imaging
“Artificial intelligence and data science are important because they will empower growers to make better decisions in increasingly complex times. In a world that will be challenged by a rapidly increased food demand, climate change, a continued decline in agricultural workers and long-term sustainability concerns, farmers will continue to adopt tools that give them the confidence to solve problems with certainty.”
4. John Corbett, CEO of aWhere
“The more analytical supported decisions become culturally acceptable – and agriculture is a tradition-rich behavior set – the more likely we avoid serious food insecurity situation which are exactly the spark that leads to conflict. AI/ML is a key tool to contribute to smarter actions.”
5. Brad Constantinescu, President and CTO of Stone Soup Tech
“All human activities rely on human intelligence, and agriculture is no exception.
Current AI Systems are more effective in narrow areas of human intelligence.
The ultimate goal of an AI system is to equal or surpass their human counterpart at their specific task.
In the future, the scope of AI in agriculture will broaden, covering more and more of the tasks reserved for humans. They will also become more autonomous, requiring even less supervision.
This will lead to more complex tools and systems, lower costs and higher production, less, but more skilled and better paid, employees.”
6. Kirk Haney, CEO of Radicle Growth
“5-years from now, the farm will be connected…completely digitized and this will revolutionize how data is analyzed on the farm. This will increase food production to feed people, increase the quality of the food (nutrition) and enable farmers to produce it even more sustainably than they already do.”
7. John McDonald, CEO at ClearObject
“Imagine a world where every inch of a farm can be optimized to produce the highest crop yield. In the not-so-distant future, instead of using machines that make humans more productive, robots, big data and other AI-driven technologies will guide farming operations and the decision-making process. Chiefly, AI and tools like machine learning will help identify best practices for farming in climates around the globe and will make precision farming even more precise. The great part about artificial intelligence is that it’s always being fed more data. It will be interesting to see where it takes the industry going forward.”
8. Stephen Blum, CTO of PubNub
“AI and machine learning will play a massive role in agriculture, and will be the driving force behind continued improvements to the efficiency and sustainability on a global scale. Machine learning is already key to agriculture today, as it can rapidly execute changes based on algorithms (choosing when to switch on irrigation, for instance, or which fertilizer to use), analyze the outcomes, and quickly optimize for the best possible outcome. The human mind simply can't execute this sort of pattern recognition, based on the huge amounts of data, at anything remotely approaching the speed of a machine learning system.”
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