A behemoth of a worker, recently recognized by a national publication, that can meticulously and precisely remove weeds growing between sprouting crops is being employed on farms in California and Arizona. Time magazine recently placed the FarmWise Titan FT-35 on its list of Best Inventions of 2020. It is an automated mechanical weeder that can help substitute the pass of a hand-weeding crew, which usually has 10 to 15 people. FarmWise has its operations headquarters, or home base for its team and machines, in Salinas and an office in San Francisco that houses most of its engineers. The company works with farming operations in the Salinas Valley such as Dole and Braga Fresh, plus dozens of other customers.
A cow stands in a pasture on Seven Oaks Dairy in Waynesboro, Ga. On the cow's neck is a device called IDA, or "The Intelligent Dairy Farmer's Assistant," created by Connecterra. It uses a motion-sensing device attached to a cow's neck to transmit its movements to a program driven by artificial intelligence. SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Is the world ready for cows armed with artificial intelligence? No time to ruminate on that because the moment has arrived, thanks to a Dutch company that has married two technologies -- motion sensors and AI -- with the aim of bringing the barnyard into the 21st century.
Alphabet's X, the secretive lab charged with finding radical "moonshot" solutions to some of the world's biggest problems, is exploring ways in which AI could dramatically improve food production. Astro Teller, the head of X, revealed the plan at MIT Technology Review's annual EmTech Digital event in San Francisco. Teller declined to give specific examples, saying X's team hadn't yet zeroed in on particular approaches, but he hinted that it was looking at how machine learning could be combined with advances in areas like drones and robotics to advance farming practices. To be worthy of X's attention, a project must fulfill three criteria: it has to potentially solve a problem that affects millions or billions of people; it has to involve an audacious, sci-fi-sounding technology; and there has to be at least a glimmer of hope it's achievable within five to 10 years. AI-driven agriculture seems a perfect fit.