Is The Future of Agriculture Artificial Intelligence?

Is The Future of Agriculture Artificial Intelligence?

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to transform the world, it appears no industry is beyond its grasp. AI-powered systems are already ubiquitous in our everyday lives. From self-driving cars to facial recognition systems on mobile devices, artificial intelligence is all around us.

Agriculture, an industry that has been historically characterized by manual labor, is currently experiencing massive amounts of technological progress. This $5 trillion industry is looking to artificial intelligence to solve issues such as land scarcity and an exponentially increasing global population. With the Earth’s population expected to grow to more than 9 billion by 2050, food production must increase by 70% to meet the overwhelming demand.

While artificial intelligence systems and their machine learning capabilities have drastically improved productivity in other industries, it’s difficult to imagine agriculture undergoing a digital transformation. And yet, artificial intelligence is transporting one of the oldest industries in existence to the future.

What Is The Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Agriculture?

AI carries a surprisingly wide range of applications in agriculture. Here are a couple of ways the agriculture is industry is adopting artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Artificial intelligence enables precision agriculture. Using data from machine learning, AI can guide farmers in regards to watering, crop rotation, harvesting, choosing crops, planting, and controlling pests.

AI systems can also predict weather patterns, analyze the health of crops, and identify diseases, pests, or inadequate plant nutrition. AI-powered drones allow farmers to monitor the health of their crops. The images captured by the drone are studied by experts who create a report of the farm’s health. This assists farmers with pest control.

Agricultural robots are now being used by some farmers to perform the most tedious and physically demanding tasks on farms. These robots can help farmers save on manual labor costs and ease the workload of workers. Agricultural robots are programmed to control weeds, check to crop quality, and harvest crops at greater speeds than humans.

What Are The Advantage Of AI In Agriculture?

Artificial intelligence offers numerous advantages to agriculture. It helps to improve food yields and improves profitability for farmers. Pests are one of the biggest threats to the health of crops. Fortunately, AI systems are able to detect insects that land on crops using satellite imagery. Artificial intelligence can then notify farmers on their smartphones of the pest’s location. This allows farmers to act quickly to eliminate pests and save their crops. Thanks to artificial intelligence, farmers will be able to grow more crops with less water. This is especially important for areas that typically experience droughts. This helps farmers save money in resources as well.

With AI’s ability to identify pests and diseases quickly, there is less need to use chemical treatments on crops. This allows for more organic produce to be harvested. “Since artificial intelligence boosts productivity, greater crop yields might mean cheaper produce,” according to Florence Dailey, a writer at Originwritings and Academic Brits “More crops can be grown locally which reduces the hidden costs of importing crops from other countries at the grocery store.”

What Are Some Concerns About AI In Agriculture?

In spite of its benefits, there are some concerns about artificial’s intelligence involvement in agriculture. One of the chief concerns is trust and ethics. A recent study of citizens from the United States, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Australia found that citizens from these countries have low trust in AI. While trust for artificial is as low as 28%, most are willing to accept and tolerate the technology. Fortunately, the European Union, Canada, and the U.S. have regulations in place to monitor the ethical creation of AI.

Another concern common among workers is that artificial intelligence will replace their jobs. A substantial number of future jobs will likely be held by artificial intelligence and digital agents. The good news is that technologies such as AI are not expected to displace more professions than it creates. While a robot is an intelligent agent, human ingenuity will always be necessary.

How Does AI Help Gardening?

The benefits of AI-powered systems are not limited to industrial food production and large-scale farming. Artificial intelligence offers innovations in gardening, lawn care, and landscaping as well. While human intervention will always be necessary for the creation of designs, the introduction of artificial intelligence to lawn care can significantly ease the manual labor aspects. The use of robotics and AI are transforming the future of gardening with automation.

What Are The Positives And Negatives Of Robotic Harvesting?

When artificial intelligence was initially introduced to gardening, there were understandable concerns regarding job displacements for manual labor workers. “The biggest concern whenever artificial intelligence is implemented in any industry is job security for workers,” explains Ross Merkel, a journalist at PhD Kingdom and Nextcoursework. “Workers are scared they’ll be replaced by robots.”

Fortunately, instead of displacing some workers in landscaping, AI-backed robots are saving workers from performing the most labor-intensive tasks. In addition, robots boost the efficiency of workers by planting plug plants directly into the soil. This drastically improves the productivity of growers. Machine learning enables growers and breeders to recognize potential diseases and pests in the root systems of plants. By weeding out the plants with diseases, plants become healthier with each successive generation.

The rise of robot lawnmowers eliminates the need to hire people to mow the lawn. Though this is beneficial for landscaping companies, it is unfortunate for manual laborers. The efficiency of robots removes the need for certain professions. This is by far one of AI’s biggest downsides.

Conclusion

Despite being in its early stages, artificial intelligence has already improved the health of crops, the profits and workload of farmers, and a wide range of food production processes. Thanks to AI, our growing global population can enjoy food security in the foreseeable future. It seems that the only limit of AI and machine learning is human intelligence. Learning how this huge advancement in technological progress allows us to develop a better understanding and greater trust for AI. 

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