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Computer Vision in Agriculture

#artificialintelligence

In today's fast-paced world of city living and stressful work-life imbalances, especially on the (hopefully) tail-end of a year of pandemic quarantine measures, many young workers are yearning to get closer to nature and family. In the face of re-emerging commutes and the push-and-pull of back-to-the-office versus hybrid or fully-remote working, many young robots would rather ditch the status quo and return to the countryside to scratch a living from the land like their ancestors before them. And they'll bring lasers, too. Of course, we're not talking about the weary office drones being herded back to the office after a year of blissfully working at home, but of robots armed with deep learning computer vision systems and precision actuators for a new breed of farming automation. This new breed of automated agriculture promises to decrease inputs and the side-effects of modern agriculture, while helping farmers deal with everything from labor shortages to climate change.


Surrey builds AI to find anti-ageing chemical compounds

#artificialintelligence

In a paper published by Nature Communication's Scientific Reports, a team of chemists from Surrey built a machine learning model based on the information from the DrugAge database to predict whether a compound can extend the life of Caenorhabditis elegans – a translucent worm that shares a similar metabolism to humans. The worm's shorter lifespan gave the researchers the opportunity to see the impact of the chemical compounds. "Ageing is increasingly being recognised as a set of diseases in modern medicine, and we can apply the tools of the digital world, such as AI, to help slow down or protect against ageing and age-related diseases. Our study demonstrates the revolutionary ability of AI to aid the identification of compounds with anti-ageing properties." "This research shows the power and potential of AI, which is a speciality of the University of Surrey, to drive significant benefits in human health."


Come winter, artificial intelligence equipped Saathi to guard, treat crops

#artificialintelligence

Come winter this year, robots will be guarding tomato and potato crops from insects, birds and viruses, analyse the soil and spray insecticides in a targeted area at the CS Azad University of Agriculture and Technology, Kanpur. Developed by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, the robots can navigate through agricultural fields to help farmers keep an eye on the crops, leaves and flowers and guard them against attacks from insects. "It will treat the crops and also send out instant alerts about the viruses infecting the soil, helping the farmer decide on a future course of action. It's overall interventions will help the farmers get good crop quality and yield," said professor Vishakh Bhattacharya, the maker of this robot. Between October and November, these robots will be deployed at the CSA University fields to give their inputs on soil and crop conditions.


Artificial Intelligence Calculates Anti-Aging Properties Of Compounds

#artificialintelligence

August 31, 2021 Artificial intelligence (AI) has been paired with one of the simplest of organisms--the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans--to enlighten the scientific community about the physical and chemical properties of drug compounds with anti-aging effects, according to Brendan Howlin, reader in computational chemistry at the University of Surrey (U.K.). The predictive power of the methodology has just been demonstrated using an established database of small molecules found to extend life in model organisms. The 1,738 compounds in the DrugAge database were broadly separated into flavonoids (e.g., from fruits and vegetables), fatty acids (e.g, omega-3 fatty acids), and those with a carbon-oxygen bond (e.g., alcohol)--all heavily tied to nutrition and lifestyle choices. Pharmaceuticals could be developed based on that nutraceutical knowledge, including the importance of the number of nitrogen atoms, says Howlin. Unlike prior efforts using AI to identify compounds that slow the aging process, Howlin used machine learning to calculate the quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) of molecules.


Is the Robot-Filled Future of Farming a Nightmare or Utopia?

WIRED

Picture this: Colossal, gas-powered autonomous robots bulldoze across acres of homogeneous farmland under a blackened sky that reeks of pollution. The trees have all been chopped down and there are no animals in sight. Pesticides are sprayed in excess because humans no longer tend to the fields. The machines do their jobs--producing massive amounts of food to feed our growing population--but it's not without ecological cost. Or, envision another future: Smaller robots cultivate mosaic plots of many different crops, working around the trees, streams, and wildlife of the natural landscape.


'Ten years ago this was science fiction': the rise of weedkilling robots

The Guardian

In the corner of an Ohio field, a laser-armed robot inches through a sea of onions, zapping weeds as it goes. This field doesn't belong to a dystopian future but to Shay Myers, a third-generation farmer whose TikTok posts about farming life often go viral. He began using two robots last year to weed his 12-hectare (30-acre) crop. The robots – which are nearly three metres long, weigh 4,300kg (9,500lb), and resemble a small car – clamber slowly across a field, scanning beneath them for weeds which they then target with laser bursts. "For microseconds you watch these reddish color bursts. You see the weed, it lights up as the laser hits, and it's just gone," said Myers.


Controlling the False Split Rate in Tree-Based Aggregation

arXiv.org Machine Learning

In many domains, data measurements can naturally be associated with the leaves of a tree, expressing the relationships among these measurements. For example, companies belong to industries, which in turn belong to ever coarser divisions such as sectors; microbes are commonly arranged in a taxonomic hierarchy from species to kingdoms; street blocks belong to neighborhoods, which in turn belong to larger-scale regions. The problem of tree-based aggregation that we consider in this paper asks which of these tree-defined subgroups of leaves should really be treated as a single entity and which of these entities should be distinguished from each other. We introduce the "false split rate", an error measure that describes the degree to which subgroups have been split when they should not have been. We then propose a multiple hypothesis testing algorithm for tree-based aggregation, which we prove controls this error measure. We focus on two main examples of tree-based aggregation, one which involves aggregating means and the other which involves aggregating regression coefficients. We apply this methodology to aggregate stocks based on their volatility and to aggregate neighborhoods of New York City based on taxi fares.


Synthetic Benchmarks for Scientific Research in Explainable Machine Learning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

As machine learning models grow more complex and their applications become more high-stakes, tools for explaining model predictions have become increasingly important. This has spurred a flurry of research in model explainability and has given rise to feature attribution methods such as LIME and SHAP. Despite their widespread use, evaluating and comparing different feature attribution methods remains challenging: evaluations ideally require human studies, and empirical evaluation metrics are often data-intensive or computationally prohibitive on real-world datasets. In this work, we address this issue by releasing XAI-Bench: a suite of synthetic datasets along with a library for benchmarking feature attribution algorithms. Unlike real-world datasets, synthetic datasets allow the efficient computation of conditional expected values that are needed to evaluate ground-truth Shapley values and other metrics. The synthetic datasets we release offer a wide variety of parameters that can be configured to simulate real-world data. We demonstrate the power of our library by benchmarking popular explainability techniques across several evaluation metrics and across a variety of settings. The versatility and efficiency of our library will help researchers bring their explainability methods from development to deployment. Our code is available at https://github.com/abacusai/xai-bench.


Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture

#artificialintelligence

Agriculture is a both major industry and the foundation of the economy. Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques are widely used to solve a variety of problems and to optimize the production and operation processes in the fields of agriculture, food, and bio-system engineering. The use of artificial intelligence in the agriculture supply chain is becoming more and more important while involving Artificial Intelligence ML algorithms. The main four clusters are preproduction, production, processing, and distribution. In fact, in the preproduction, ML technologies are used, especially for the predictions of given features.


Geometric Deep Learning on Molecular Representations

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Geometric deep learning (GDL), which is based on neural network architectures that incorporate and process symmetry information, has emerged as a recent paradigm in artificial intelligence. GDL bears particular promise in molecular modeling applications, in which various molecular representations with different symmetry properties and levels of abstraction exist. This review provides a structured and harmonized overview of molecular GDL, highlighting its applications in drug discovery, chemical synthesis prediction, and quantum chemistry. Emphasis is placed on the relevance of the learned molecular features and their complementarity to well-established molecular descriptors. This review provides an overview of current challenges and opportunities, and presents a forecast of the future of GDL for molecular sciences.