If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
How does artificial intelligence-powered precision farming affect food sustainability? This is the question we asked our panel of experts. "Precision farming" is a bit of a buzz phrase; it is often used, but rarely defined. Generally, it means the widespread adoption of new technologies to accurately monitor and control agricultural activity. But which technologies are adopted and which consequences result?
People without any knowledge can use artificial intelligence (AI) to produce more profitable cucumbers than the most experienced growers. This was shown in an experiment that Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in the Netherlands conducted last year in a greenhouse complex at their experimental farm in Bleiswijk. WUR researcher Isabella Righini cited this research at the Global Future Farming Summit, which was held in Wageningen recently. Experts there focused on precision agriculture and the robotisation of food production. Righini: "Producing food requires a lot from the grower. He must deal with the supply of raw materials, such as minerals for his crops. He must take care of the crops. And he has to market his crops. That is a complex operation. In the Autonomous Greenhouse project we are testing to what extent artificial intelligence can help growers grow crops."
Dan Jacobson, a research and development staff member in the Biosciences Division at the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), has a few ideas. For the past 5 years, Jacobson and his team have studied plants to understand the genetic variables and patterns that make them adaptable to changing environments and climates. As a computational biologist, Jacobson uses some of the world's most powerful supercomputers for his work--including the recently decommissioned Cray XK7 Titan and the world's most powerful and smartest supercomputer for open science, the IBM AC922 Summit supercomputer, both located at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), a DOE Office of Science User Facility at ORNL. Last year, Jacobson and his team won an Association for Computing Machinery Gordon Bell Prize after using a special computing technique known as "mixed precision" on Summit to become the first group to reach exascale speed--approximately a quintillion calculations per second. Jacobson's team is currently working on numerous projects that form an integrated roadmap for the future of AI in plant breeding and bioenergy.
The Seattle-based food tech company Picnic is in the process of utilizing AI to create pizzas for their customers. The deep learning algorithms used by Picnic are capable of running a pizza production line with very little oversight, analyzing the pizza at different stages with a computer-vision system. Picnic was once called Vivid Robotics and the company has created what it dubs the first every all-purpose, automated system designed for the creation of food in the hospitality and foodservice sectors. According to TechXplore, the system is integrated with an app that customers can download and order pizzas with, customizing their toppings. The orders are given directly to the system, and the AI can oversee the creation of up to 300 12-inch or 180 18-inch pizzas every hour.
Matt Barnard, chief executive officer and co-founder of Plenty Inc., speaks at the SoftBank World 2019 event in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday 2019. Barnard said the company's high-tech approach to growing crops indoors results in plants that yield more without pesticides, use a fraction of water of their counterparts in the field and taste better, to boot. The use of AI (artificial intelligence) in agriculture is not new and has been around for some time with technology spans a wide range of abilities--from that which discriminates between crop seedlings and weeds to greenhouse automation. Indeed, it is easy to think that this is new technology given the way that our culture has distanced so many facets of food production, keeping it far away from urban spaces and our everyday reality. Yet, as our planet reaps the negative repercussions of technological and industrial growth, we must wonder if there are ways that our collective cultures might be able to embrace AI's use in food production which might include a social response to climate change.
WASHINGTON – Looking for that perfect recipe, or a new flavor combination that delights the senses? Increasingly, players in the food industry are embracing artificial intelligence to better understand the dynamics of flavor, aroma and other factors that go into making a food product a success. Earlier this year, IBM became a surprise entrant to the food sector, announcing a partnership with seasonings maker McCormick to "explore flavor territories more quickly and efficiently using AI to learn and predict new flavor combinations" by utilizing data collected from millions of data points. The partnership highlights how technology is being used to disrupt the food industry by helping develop new products and respond to consumer preferences and offer improved nutrition and flavor. "More and more, food companies are embracing digitization and becoming data-driven," said Bernard Lahousse, co-founder of Foodpairing, a startup with offices in Belgium and New York that develops digital food "maps" and algorithms to recommend food and drink combinations.
A car park opposite the infamous New York City housing estate where rapper Jay-Z grew up seems an unlikely place for an agricultural revolution. Ten shipping containers dominate a corner of the Brooklyn parking area, each full of climate control tech, growing herbs that are distributed to local stores on bicycles. This is urban farming at its most literal. The containers are owned by Square Roots, part of America's fast-expanding vertical farming industry, a sector run by many tech entrepreneurs who believe food production is ripe for disruption. The world's best basil reputedly comes from Genoa, Italy.
Researchers have figured out how to use deep learning to speed up the analysis of gas chromatographic data. Because this type of analysis is used in many parts of society, the new method will have a major impact on quality, efficiency and cost when examining various data -- from blood tests, to the fermentation of cheese. Gas chromatography is a method of analysis that most people have experienced at one time or another without necessarily knowing it. For example, gas chromatography can be used to reveal food fraud, find out where a particular batch of cocaine was produced or monitor a fermentation of cheese. "The new interpretive method of gas chromatographic analysis can make this type of analysis accessible to many more, which means that better and cheaper decisions can be made in a number of areas in society," says Professor Rasmus Bro, Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH FOOD), who is one of the researchers behind the new interpretive method.
WASHINGTON - Looking for that perfect recipe, or a new flavor combination that delights the senses? Increasingly, players in the food industry are embracing artificial intelligence to better understand the dynamics of flavor, aroma and other factors that go into making a food product a success. Earlier this year, IBM became a surprise entrant to the food sector, announcing a partnership with seasonings maker McCormick to "explore flavor territories more quickly and efficiently using AI to learn and predict new flavor combinations" by utilizing data collected from millions of data points. The partnership highlights how technology is being used to disrupt the food industry by helping develop new products and respond to consumer preferences and offer improved nutrition and flavor. "More and more, food companies are embracing digitization and becoming data-driven," said Bernard Lahousse, co-founder of Foodpairing, a startup with offices in Belgium and New York that develops digital food "maps" and algorithms to recommend food and drink combinations.
Norwegian chemical company Yara International has teamed up with tech giant IBM to transform the future of farming. The two companies together endeavour to build the "world's leading" digital farming platform which, they say, will provide holistic digital services and instant agronomic advice. Yara and IBM Services will jointly innovate and commercialise digital agricultural solutions that will help increase global food production. The collaboration will draw on Yara's agronomic knowledge – backed by more than 800 agronomists and a century of experience – and IBM's digital platforms, services and expertise in AI and data analytics. "Our collaboration centres around a common goal to make a real difference in agriculture," said Terje Knutsen, EVP Sales and Marketing in Yara.