Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture

Description: Four-part series outlining the impact of artificial intelligence in agriculture. It was distributed through the organization’s weekly email. 

Roles: Researched and wrote content. 

Audience: Soybean producers

Employer: MorganMyers

Client: Illinois Soybean Association 

Part 1: Artificial Intelligence and the Human Advantage 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – learn what is it and how it impacts you over the next few weeks in the Weekly Update. To start, you need to know that AI will change global agriculture. AI instantaneously uses loads of data to provide the best solution. Outcomes from past solutions are used in future decisions; this is called machine learning. For example, when AI is used to predict environmental impacts on crop yield, it’s using past data to decide a future prediction. Becoming Human provides a brief explanation of AI. Will AI replace humans? Not for everything. Computers will never have the ability to create something completely new. However, when it comes to decision making, AI will beat human intelligence every time. Next week, read about the unexpected places you’re already using AI.

Part 2: Artificial Intelligence is Already Here 

Last week’s update on artificial intelligence (AI) described a technology that sounded more like the future than reality. Not only do these technologies already exist, but for many people they’re an integral part of life. When you’re searching on your phone using Siri or Google, algorithms are analyzing your actions to provide you with better results. Beyond your phone, AI is helping planes find the best course, determining the best traffic route and personalizing your online ads. In the field, AI is already being used to identify weeds, drive planting decisions and control machinery. Small robots that look a lot like tables, roll through row crops, scanning the weeds to identify what’s growing in the field. Using past yield data and weather patterns, AI can even suggest what would be the best crop to plant next year and when. Tech Emergencelays out more every day applications of AI.

Part 3: Artificial Intelligence and the Major Players 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already part of our everyday lives and, with the market for farming technology growing 12 percent annually, agriculture is no exception. Some major agriculture companies are embracing AI, leading the global charge toward a more connected industry. Bayer has already deployed AI drones that are smart enough to spot patterns in crops to predict disease outbreaks. Farmers can also deploy intelligent computer vision to accurately target weeds while minimizing chemical spray on crops thanks to Blue River’s See & Spray technology. Watch a video of this tech in action. Even Microsoft is applying its AI technology to low-cost sensors and drones that advise on where to reduce inputs while maximizing yield and reducing costs. Next time you’re in the field, think about how AI has changed your operation. What technology is helping you? Tweet at us: @ILSoybean.   

Part 4: Agriculture is at the Frontier of Artificial Intelligence 

The artificial intelligence (AI) used on farms now is only a preview of what’s coming. As AI collects more data about fields, weather and insect patterns, its decision-making and prediction capabilities will become even smarter. Intel describes one farmer whose AI predicted a pest invasion before it happened. Humans operating machinery may become a thing of the past. Certain equipment is automated today, but the future points toward a completely automated agriculture industry—with farmers behind the controls. Beyond the farm, AI will track soybeans used for food, fuel and feed using micro RFID sensors, following them from the field to the market, returning information back to the farmer about the most profitable opportunities. Read Forbes top digital trends in agricultureand consider how you’re positioned to take advantage of an artificially intelligent future. 

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