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) …
Consumers, retailers and farmers alike are hungry for the next generation of food, and investors are beginning to acquire the taste, too. Early-stage investment in agrifood tech startups reached $10.1 billion in 2017, a 29 percent increase on the previous year. Agrifood can be split into two parts. "Agritech" refers to technologies that target farmers. Jointly, the two have enough reach to impact every part of the production line, from farm to fork.
In 2018, Brazil had over 230 million cows chewing their cuds – about 22% of the 1.02 billion cows living on this planet – and consequently was the world's largest exporter of beef that year. With the country's revenues from agriculture reaching $84.6 billion, it makes sense that there would be some agriculture technology (agtech) startups cropping up in the Land of the Holy Cross. The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics has noted the efforts this South American country has been making to advance the use of technology in farming. For example, tractor use in the country has grown by almost 50% in the past decade while crop irrigation use has increased by 52%. The agricultural sector is now working hand-in-hand with the tech world to capture big data and turn it into insights for "precision farming," something we talked about in our article on 6 IoT in Agriculture Solutions from AgTech Startups.
Robots with cognitive, human characteristics such as speech recognition, visual perception, and even decision-making have been increasing the efficacy of farm work. From manual labor on the farm, for example, plowing the land, sowing seeds, water management, pest and weed control (prevention and cure), and picking crops, to more in-depth, micro-analytics such as predicting the weather, measuring soil acidity, and calculating light levels, this new equipment gives the farmer a thorough overview of the health of their farm, and informs them of the optimal time for each agricultural task. Before AI, this thorough land and crop evaluation and risk assessment would have taken weeks, but now, ever-important information is available by simply flying a drone out over a farm.
Forget Skynet gaining sentience and starting a nuclear apocalypse aimed at humanity. The real fear a lot of folks have about artificial intelligence, robots and other automated processes is what it means for all of our jobs. According to a famous Oxford University study, around 47% of currently existing jobs could potentially be automated away within the next 15 years. While it's inarguable that a certain number of jobs will vanish in the wake of automation, lots of new jobs are going to be created by technology as well. Jobs like data analyst, machine learning scientist, process automation specialists and digital marketing experts are all roles that we're going to see a whole lot more of in the decades to come.
Before Zachariah Apodaca and Brandon and Benjamin Sandoval arrived in China for an international robotics competition, the Española-area teenagers worried about weight limits. Together, their robot -- designed to water rows of plants in a greenhouse, and all of the motors, pumps, and tools that go with it -- were well over the 100-pound threshold for extra airline baggage fees. So the team secured as many fragile parts that could fit into the heavy-duty travel case donated by the Española Fire Department and separated the less-delicate but still precious cargo in an assortment of suitcases. Once in a Beijing hotel room, they nervously opened everything. To their relief, nothing was broken.
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.
We are a Ukraine-based company which means that our parents and grandparents lived in the era of infamous Soviet collective farms, where tractors were considered to be an ultimate technology. For them, a smart farm will sound like a fairy tale. So let it be, a fairy tale of a smart farm. First of all, what is a smart farm? Smart Farming is a concept of farming management using modern Information and Communication Technologies to increase the quantity and quality of products.
Wine growers have a neat, if unusual, trick for making more flavorful wine--don't water the vines. Let the vines go dry right before harvest, and they will yield smaller grapes with more skin and less juice. Smaller grapes produce wine with a deeper color and more complex flavor. Trinchero Family Estates in Napa Valley, California wanted to make sure it was watering its grapes just the right amount, so they worked with Ceres Imaging to map their fields. Ceres used fixed-wing aircrafts to capture color, thermal, and infrared images of the vineyard, and they used artificial intelligence to analyze those images to see if the wine producer was overwatering its grapes.
It's rare to see tech headlines about agriculture, but the field (pardon the pun) is often at the forefront of implementing new technology Perhaps no recent tech development has had a greater impact on the industry than smart technology, and this IoT data is being used to improve operations across nearly all modern farming operations around the globe. Here are a few examples. Farmers were among the first to adopt GPS technology; John Deere was the first tractor manufacturer to implement GPS technologies in the early 1990s, and farmers quickly began using GPS assistance and even automated steering to reduce user errors. GPS technology can be combined with sensor data to create ultra-precise maps of varying factors. Knowing how soil quality varies across large plots of land, for example, can help farmers know which areas need which type of fertilizers.
In order for robots and other artificial agents to efficiently learn to perform useful tasks defined by an end user, they must understand not only the goals of those tasks, but also the structure and dynamics of that user's environment. While existing work has looked at how the goals of a task can be inferred from a human teacher, the agent is often left to learn about the environment on its own. To address this limitation, we develop an algorithm, Behavior Aware Modeling (BAM), which incorporates a teacher's knowledge into a model of the transition dynamics of an agent's environment. We evaluate BAM both in simulation and with real human teachers, learning from a combination of task demonstrations and evaluative feedback, and show that it can outperform approaches which do not explicitly consider this source of dynamics knowledge.