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food security


Using Artificial Intelligence To Make Qatar's Food Production More Resilient

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The emerging field of artificial intelligence can help countries improve their food security, especially in places like Qatar that import majority of their food products from outside, according to Dr. Tareq Al-Ansari, Assistant Professor at Hamad Bin Khalifa University's College of Science and Engineering. "While Qatar has significantly ramped up its production of vegetables, meat, and dairy products, a large percentage of our food products are still being imported. The availability and stability of food supply are still of particular concern. Therefore, it's important to develop data-driven strategies to secure multiple sources from where food is acquired through robust and diversified supply chains," said Dr. Al-Ansari, whose research focuses on the water-energy-food nexus and sustainable development. "There is a need for informed, insightful, and pre-emptive decision-making processes in the field of food security, and we strongly believe artificial intelligence (AI) can enable this and play an important role for a more sustainable and resilient future in the local food sector."


Life academy promotes ethical ways AI can with help food security

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As part of its ongoing collaboration with two of the world's leading developers of AI software, the Pontifical Academy for Life will launch a new joint project looking at ethical ways artificial intelligence can be used to guarantee food security. The academy, together with the heads of Microsoft, IBM and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, were to unveil details about the project at an online event Sept. 24. The goals of the event include presenting concrete solutions to the agri-food business with the ethical use of AI and looking at the "post COVID-19 route" to take, the academy said in a press release Sept. 15. "Concrete experiences of using artificial intelligence to ethically address global environmental challenges will be presented," it said. Titled, "AI, Food for All: Dialogue and Experiences," the conference was a follow-up to a Feb. 28 event held at the Vatican that included the signing of a "Call for AI Ethics" by the leaders of the papal academy, Microsoft, IBM, the FAO and a representative of the Italian government.


Investment into development of artificial intelligence spraying technology

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A.I. technology will allow farmers to target crop pests REGINA, SK, Aug. 20, 2020 /CNW/ - Today, Protein Industries Canada announced the development of new technology that specifically targets pests when spraying fields, increasing efficiencies and providing economic benefits for farmers. The technology uses artificial intelligence to detect weeds and other crop pests while passing over a field. This is estimated to reduce pesticide use by up to 95 per cent while maintaining crop yield, saving farmers approximately $52 per acre per growing season. Additionally, the technology can be retrofitted to upgrade new or existing sprayers, making it suitable for all Canadian farmers. The $26.2 million project is being led by Precision.ai


Investment into development of artificial intelligence spraying technology

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The $26.2 million project is being led by Precision.ai The partners are together investing $13.4 million into the project, with Protein Industries Canada investing the remaining $12.8 million. Approximately 120 new Canadian jobs are expected to be created through the project within the next five years. "This new project supported by the Protein Supercluster is a great example of how the superclusters are bringing innovation to farming practices, using advanced technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and creating new well-paying jobs. Through a collaborative effort between three SMEs and a university research centre, this project has the potential to dramatically reduce chemical pesticide use without sacrificing crop yield or quality," said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.


Solving the Credit Impasse: How Big Data and AI are Generating Funding Opportunities for Smallholder Farmers in Africa - NextBillion

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Agriculture finance represents an important element of eradicating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development, smallholders manage over 80% of the world's estimated 500 million small farms and provide over 80% of the food consumed in a significant part of the developing world, making a major contribution to poverty reduction and food security. Most smallholder farms are in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, and in both regions over 80% of farmland is managed by smallholders. Even though these farmers are generally characterized by limited resources--particularly in terms of land--and dependence on household members for farm labor, they represent a critical part of food systems in developing countries. In light of the size and importance of the smallholder farming sector, the development community has a growing focus on providing these farmers with the funding they need to thrive.


Ag-Analytics helps farmers and researchers use AI to prepare for climate change - Microsoft on the Issues

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Severe weather is impacting agriculture across the globe. The Midwestern United States has been continually flooding since March, inflicting $2.9 billion in property damage and threatening the livelihoods of farmers throughout the region. Internationally, food security is under threat from an onslaught of drought, while agriculture is already subject to the challenges of thin margins and complex global trade. Meanwhile, there is increasing pressure to do more with less to ensure food security for the growing global population. To meet these pressures, farmers are driven to get the most out of every harvest, even if that short-term focus may have long-term ill effects on the soil and ultimately their yield.


AI Ethics for Systemic Issues: A Structural Approach

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The debate on AI ethics largely focuses on technical improvements and stronger regulation to prevent accidents or misuse of AI, with solutions relying on holding individual actors accountable for responsible AI development. While useful and necessary, we argue that this "agency" approach disregards more indirect and complex risks resulting from AI's interaction with the socio-economic and political context. This paper calls for a "structural" approach to assessing AI's effects in order to understand and prevent such systemic risks where no individual can be held accountable for the broader negative impacts. This is particularly relevant for AI applied to systemic issues such as climate change and food security which require political solutions and global cooperation. To properly address the wide range of AI risks and ensure 'AI for social good', agency-focused policies must be complemented by policies informed by a structural approach.


IBM Hackathon winner helps fight rash of wasted food ZDNet

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IBM recently called on developers in the U.S. to use open-source technology to create solutions to fight food waste. The Food Waste Developer Challenge wrapped up in August and the winner of the competition has just been announced. Food waste is major issue in the U.S. By the USDA's estimates, 30-40 percent of the food supply goes to waste. In 2010, when the agency compiled its most comprehensive food waste figures, that corresponded to roughly 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food. Artificial intelligence in the real world: What can it actually do?


Artificial intelligence key to Africa's future food security - Farmers Review Africa

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The cumulative view provided by the confluence of machine learning and decision making in conjunction with third-party data all hosted in the cloud, has given rise to artificial intelligence (AI) in agriculture. The ability of agricultural equipment to think, predict and even advise farmers presents Africa with an historic opportunity to meet the continent's own food requirements. AI also presents Africa with the capability to integrate its agricultural sector into global agricultural value chains. According to GeoFarm South Africa, farms in the United States are 27% more productive than South African farms compared across the same area, moisture levels and soil types. While, superficially, this is because farms in the United States are more mechanised, a closer examination of what these agricultural machines are doing shows just how fundamentally AI has changed the way humans farm, and how dramatically these changes have increased agricultural yields.


Artificial intelligence helps banana growers protect the world's most favorite fruit

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A new smartphone tool developed for banana farmers scans plants for signs of five major diseases and one common pest. In testing in Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Benin, China, and Uganda, the tool provided a 90 percent successful detection rate. This work is a step towards creating a satellite-powered, globally connected network to control disease and pest outbreaks, say the researchers who developed the technology. The findings were published this week in the journal Plant Methods. "Farmers around the world struggle to defend their crops from pests and diseases," said Michael Selvaraj, the lead author, who developed the tool with colleagues from Bioversity International in Africa.