Ever since its conception, AI has been sparking controversy. We’re not gonna lie – we are also divided on the issue. It’s not just that there are machines with decisions that humans wouldn’t come up with (which is both a blessing and a curse), but also the fact that many people wonder about the practical applications of artificial intelligence in everyday life, as well as in industries.
Agriculture is one of those industries that is going to undergo a revolution of sorts by using this futuristic tech. We are going to talk about what AI is, as well as areas that it could improve in the agricultural industry.
AI stands for Artificial intelligence. It’s a type of intelligence displayed by a machine, rather than a human being. It means that a machine can copy how we deal with problems and learn from us. This, in turn, allows the machine to solve future problems, show off some impressive plans, optimize the environment for a project it’s working on, and so on.
Because machines are faster at thinking than people, as well as more efficient, AI can easily solve a large scope of problems in a fraction of time a human would need. There has been some talk of self-driving cars, as just one of many potential applications of it. What can it do for farms, though?
So, what can AI do for a farmer today? There are a few things worth considering. For one thing, AI could be used in an automated irrigation system. It could respond to weather conditions, as well as track which of the plants are hydrated, and which need water. In addition to that, there will be a carefully calculated amount of water used for optimal yield and crop health. There will be no wasting the water or damaging the crops through negligence, or unfortunate circumstances.
Machinery and Equipment
We spoke of driverless cars before. What about unmanned machines, like tractors and crop dusters? Harvesters and tractors could receive orders and protocols to follow, and all you would have to do is check the work done at the end of the day. Drones are excellent tools to be used as surveillance, particularly in controlling pests, as well as analyzing which plants are suffering from an illness and have to be disposed of before damaging the rest of the crops.
Not only that, but machines will easily track your livestock with the same basic principle, with the added precaution of following the ones that have strayed, and alerting you of this. It’s also worth noting that there is a security feature there, as you will also be alerted of any other intruders.
India is one of the countries already using AI in agriculture. We would have mentioned these features before, but it seemed more fitting to describe it in the context of someone actually using it. Several villages in Telangana and Madhya Pradesh rely heavily on messages they get on their phones. The messages notify them immediately if some of their crops are ill, what type of weather to expect, as well as warn them in advance of any potential pest attack.
Imagine a grasshopper. Now imagine several thousand, except that they decided to bring their families over for Thanksgiving. It would be great if someone could alert you of such a disaster ahead of time. These and many more alerts keep the farmers safe.
Another use is planning on how to plant your crops. AI suggests optimal soil conditions, numbers and gives other useful advice, allowing the crops to yield over 20% more than farmers would normally get.