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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Five ways agriculture could benefit from artificial intelligence.

Five ways agriculture could benefit from artificial intelligence. Agriculture is the industry that accompanied the evolution of humanity from pre-historic times to modern days and fulfilled faithfully one of its most basic needs: food supply. Today this still remains its core mission, but it’s integrated in a more complex than ever mechanism driven by multiple sociological, economic and environmental forces Digital and technological advancements are taking over the industry, enhancing food production while adding value to the entire farm-to-fork supply chain and helping it make use of natural resources more efficiently. Data generated by sensors or agricultural drones collected at farms, on the field or during transportation offer a wealth of information about soil, seeds, livestock, crops, costs, farm equipment or the use of water and fertilizer. Internet of Things technologies and advanced analytics help farmers analyze real time data like weather, temperature, moisture, prices or GPS signals and provide insights on how to optimize and increase yield, improve farm planning, make smarter decisions about the level of resources needed, when and where to distribute them in order to prevent waste. Efficiency and productivity will increase over the years as precision agriculture grows bigger and farms become smarter and more connected. The growing number of connected devices represents a big opportunity for food and agribusiness players and it also adds more complexity for farmers and organizations. The explosion of unstructured data, like social media posts, imagery or video content drives the need to know more, to receive real time recommendations on close at hand devices, like smartphones or tablets,with all this information there is bound to be an overload thus prompting the need to sort out data intelligently. 1) Artificial intelligence will help IoT achieve its maximum potential. While digital transformation is disrupting the agricultural world and more data comes to feed the systems, solutions that apply machine learning abilities to sensor or drone data,thus transforming management systems in real artificial intelligence systems. Cognitive IoT technologies allow many types of correlations of large amount of structured and unstructured data from multiple sources, such as historic weather data, social media posts, research notes, soil information, market place information, images, etc., to extract knowledge and provide organizations with richer insights and recommendations to take action and improve yields. 2) Chatbots for farmers Chatbots are conversational virtual assistants who automate interactions with end users. Artificial intelligence powered chatbots, using machine learning techniques, understand natural language and interact with users in a personalized way. While it’s still early days and chatbots are used mostly by retail, travel, media or insurance players, agriculture could also leverage this emerging technology by assisting farmers with answers to their questions, giving advice and recommendations on specific farm problems. Although at the beginning, these ways of using cognitive technologies predict exciting times ahead for agriculture on its road towards efficiency, sustainability and meeting the world’s food needs. We’re looking forward to seeing how farmers, agribusinesses and other decision makers on the value chain will harness the power of IoT and artificial intelligence to shape the industry’s future. more