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Humans can trace the foundations of their social and economic development to the time when agriculture developed. To this day, the agriculture sector serves as the base of the world’s economy. With an ever-increasing population, the agriculture sector will only grow, but it faces a problem. This problem requires a smart solution and the role of artificial intelligence will be critical to solving this problem. The role of artificial intelligence in agriculture steps up in other supplemental areas of agriculture to lift the entire agriculture industry.
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
Arguably, the forefront of human technology is currently artificial intelligence. We’ve already seen AI and automation’s impact on the healthcare, financial, automotive, retail, and manufacturing industries.
AI systems must display behaviors that are traditionally associated with human intelligence. These behaviors include reasoning, planning, learning, problem-solving, knowledge representation, and more. AI can evolve continuously, thanks to machine learning.
After the inception of the AI industry, applications for agriculture have started to emerge and represent a very promising future. We’ll have a look at these applications in-depth to better understand the role of artificial intelligence in agriculture.
Applications that showcase the role of artificial intelligence in agriculture.
Artificial Intelligence in Self-driving tractors
Self-driving cars are becoming an increasingly regular occurrence with Tesla leading the way, among other developers. It’s only natural that the concept would find its way towards agriculture. Vehicles play a significant role in agriculture, and arguably none is more critical than the tractor.
The self-driving tractors are capable of performing multiple activities without any human supervision. These tractors will avoid obstacles and independently identify their plowing position while traveling at the ideal speed. Without worrying about the driver’s fatigue, these tractors are capable of completing more tasks and managing multiple activities without tiring.
Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
Robotics and artificial intelligence go hand in hand. There are several practical applications that are finding their way towards agriculture. For example, there are picking robots designed to help pick up the produce once it’s time to harvest. These robots can pick the produce much faster than a human and manage a larger volume as well.
One the other hand, the See & Spray AI system is completely revolutionizing crop management. The cameras allow the AI to detect any potential weeds or issues with the crop. It can then spray the weeds with herbicide or provide fertilizer to certain plants. It allows farmers to manage their crops and end up picking higher volumes.
Defense against pests using artificial intelligence
Pests are among the worst enemies that farmers encounter. They’re capable of destroying a field of crops in its entirety. However, the use of AI can help farmers defend better against potential pests. By using cameras and satellite imagery, AI companies are providing farmers with smartphone apps capable of warning against incoming pests.
The systems compare new satellite images with historical data, then the AI algorithm determines whether or not the insects have landed at another location. If the algorithm detects any potential movements in the pests, they’ll update the farmers with their location.
Why Is Using automation and artificial intelligence beneficial For agriculture?
While there are many arguments against the use of automation, some argue that it’s replacing valuable jobs and the role of human labor in traditional agriculture. However, due to land scarcity, there’s only so much that we can produce using traditional agricultural methods. The use of artificial intelligence and automation would allow existing farmers to get more out of what they already own.
Artificial intelligence will help improve the output, management, and sustainability of agriculture in the future. The nature of most of these applications doesn’t outright replace human labor either. The artificial intelligence can work alongside the farmer to help produce the best results.
As the population of the world continues to grow, the agricultural sector needs to increase its output. The implementation of AI can help ensure that the transfer to more modern methods of agriculture is as efficient and lucrative as possible.
The smart farm
Advancements in artificial intelligence based technologies have led to smarter farms or farming models with highly adaptive capability.
Data capture and analysis – farms can set up setup, track and analyze a diverse set of data points thereby helping farmers make smarter decisions. This data analysis helps in arriving at much smarter approaches to the problems at hand and helps in better decision making.
Automation and robotics – Any basic repetitive work that saves the farmer time and can be automated should be automated. Robots are used in farm activities such as fruit picking and lettuce thinning among many others. This can lead to productivity gains with indefatigability, consistent work quality and cost savings in the long run.
Predictive analytics – Artificial intelligence has an array of tools to predict changes in weather patterns, soil conditions, pest infestation or soil quality and composition in order to improve planning and farm management. These tools help farmers take advantage of the predictions and assist them in making informed decisions.
Similar to other industries, farms face constraints relating to the use of AI such as investment costs, compatibility with current tech infrastructure, skills and resource availability, privacy, security, and possible regulatory issues.
Despite these potential constraints, the stage is set for smart farms, precision farming, and agricultural intelligence.
Shifting landscapes of being a farmer
Artificial intelligence is transforming agriculture and provides diverse approaches for abundant harvests in all aspects of agriculture. With such transformation, innovative farms require innovative workers. Amidst these dramatic technological advances, they would need need new ways to adapt and think out of the box to manage their agricultural farm lands.
They need to use the right tools during their journey that are at their disposal.While extensive technical expertise may not be required, but, basic understanding and operational implications may be necessary. Through artificial intelligence, they can have deeper and better understanding of their “workplace” aka the farm.
To adapt to artificial intelligence the agriculture sector needs to pivot to a better sense of tooling and training for the human resources required to manage farming. Everyone in the organization should be trained and educated to stay up to date with the artificial intelligence economy.
Since artificial intelligence and robotics will take a lot of work from the agriculturists, it is critical for the agriculturists to partner with tech firms to obtain unique, innovative and cutting edge technologies that would not only boost productivity but will also help them differentiate themselves from the competition. Strategic planning and partnerships can give agriculturists an upper hand.
Rolling out these technologies at scale will give the agriculturists and farmers the economies of scale. While AI and robotic tech tools can be expensive and may be a huge investment for some, it is important for the entire community come up with solutions across the beard that give the opportunities at scale for small time farms by collaborating with other farmers, cooperatives, suppliers, government, universities and even the local community to drive the costs down.
Conclusion – The Role of artificial intelligence in agriculture.
Artificial intelligence has a vital role to play in the future of humankind. That includes the agricultural industry as well. The potential of machine learning and continuously improving AI means that the ceiling for growth in the agricultural sector is massive.
The smart implementation of AI into agriculture would help ensure the sustainability of the industry in the future!