In recent months, the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted frangibility in the global supply networks; particularly those involved in food security. Hallmarks of digital transformation, automation, and artificial intelligence, are being tapped to create a decentralized 21st century food chain. On Thursday, the agricultural robotics and artificial intelligence company Root AI announced new capabilities to its AI-enhanced robotic harvester as well as investments totaling more than $7 million. Now that the AI-enhanced robotic harvester has demonstrated enhanced dexterity to tackle crops of various shapes and sizes, the technology could help shore up these vulnerabilities. In the past, Root AI has provided glimpses of its robo-harvester, known as Virgo, picking ripe tomatoes off the vine.
Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman has announced that he will not be running for reelection in 2022, setting up a competitive race to replace him in what has become a largely red state. The two most prominent Republicans who have said they're running--Josh Mandel, the former state treasurer, and Jane Timken, a prominent party official--are already engaged in mutual, MAGA-fueled recriminations over who can most emphatically denounce the other's history of associations with other local GOP figures, like former Gov. John Kasich and Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who have been critical of Donald Trump. Mandel achieved what was probably the nascent campaign's biggest coup in February, scoring a speaking spot at the Conservative Political Action Conference that he used to attack Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine as a liberal wimp for having imposed modest pandemic-related restrictions during a pandemic. He hasn't formally announced a campaign, but there's already a Super PAC set up to support his potential run. Super PACs aren't technically allowed to coordinate with candidates, but the pro-Vance PAC announced this week that it's gotten donations from right-wing techno-authoritarians Peter Thiel and Robert Mercer; Thiel's was for $10 million, which would be huge by the standards of a presidential race, let alone a Senate one.
In Leones, Argentina, a drone with a special camera flies low over 150 acres of wheat. It's able to check each stalk, one-by-one, spotting the beginnings of a fungal infection that could potentially threaten this year's crop. The flying robot is powered by computer vision: a kind of artificial intelligence being developed by start-ups around the world, and deployed by farmers looking for solutions that will help them grow food on an increasingly unpredictable planet. Many food producers are struggling to manage threats to their crop like disease and pests, made worse by climate change, monocropping, and widespread pesticide use. Catching things early is key.
In Leones, Argentina, a drone with a special camera flies low over 150 acres of wheat. It's able to check each stalk, one-by-one, spotting the beginnings of a fungal infection that could potentially threaten this year's crop. Many food producers are struggling to manage threats to their crop like disease and pests, made worse by climate change, monocropping, and widespread pesticide use. Catching things early is key. Taranis, a company that works with farms on four continents, flies high-definition cameras above fields to provides "the eyes."