These Indian subsistence farmers know just what to do: Pull out their smartphones and take their picture. The farmers then upload the images with GPS locations to a cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) app named Plantix. The app identifies the crop type in the image and spits out a diagnosis of a disease, pest or nutrient deficiency. Plantix also aids farmers by recommending targeted biological or chemical treatments for ailing plants, reducing the volume of agrochemicals in groundwater and waterways that can result from overuse or incorrect application of herbicides and pesticides.
For the course "Deep Learning for Business," the first module is "Deep Learning Products & Services," which starts with the lecture "Future Industry Evolution & Artificial Intelligence" that explains past, current, and future industry evolutions and how DL (Deep Learning) and ML (Machine Learning) technology will be used in almost every aspect of future industry in the near future. The following lectures look into the hottest DL and ML products and services that are exciting the business world. Then the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot products are introduced along with the Alexa cloud based DL personal assistant that uses ASR (Automated Speech Recognition) and NLU (Natural Language Understanding) technology. The next lecture focuses on LettuceBot, which is a DL system that plants lettuce seeds with automatic fertilizer and herbicide nozzles control. Then the computer vision based DL blood cells analysis diagnostic system Athelas is introduced followed by the introduction of a classical and symphonic music composing DL system named AIVA (Artificial Intelligence Virtual Artist).
In just 30 years' time, it is forecasted that the human population of our planet will be close to 10 billion. Producing enough food to feed these hungry mouths will be a challenge, and demographic trends such as urbanization, particularly in developing countries, will only add to that. To meet that challenge, agricultural businesses are pinning their hopes on technology, and that idea that increasingly sophisticated data and analytics tools will help to drive efficiencies and cut waste in agriculture and food production. Leading the way is John Deere – the 180-year-old manufacturer of farming and industrial machinery which has spent the past decade transforming itself into an artificial intelligence (AI) and data-driven business. I have covered John Deere before here.
"AI is the new Electricity" – Andrew Ng* Since the advent of 20th century electricity became the main source of invention in every major industry ranging from transportation, manufacturing to healthcare, communications and many more. Today Artificial Intelligence (AI) is bringing the same big transformation across all the major industries. The part of AI that is rapidly growing and which is driving most of these transformations is Deep Learning. Today, Deep Learning has become one of the most sought after skills in the technology world. Agriculture is one industry where Deep Learning scientists and researchers are working with farmers to help them with their produce.
The Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations projects that 9.7 billion people will inhabit the Earth come 2050. With one in eight people today not getting enough food, farmers will have to become more prolific in order to serve these additional billions. As nearly half of the planet's 10 global hectares of potentially productive land is already devoted to agriculture, any expansion will increasingly impact delicate ecosystems that are already declining. What's worse is the World Bank estimates that climate change could cut crop yields by more than 25 percent as the population continues to grow. Feeding this amount of people will require finding new ways of becoming even more efficient at producing food.